Lowland League: Doctor’s orders may keep Guthrie at Edinburgh Uni

Jack Guthrie

Jack Guthrie

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Edinburgh University captain Jack Guthrie says he has no intention of leaving the club for pastures new next season.

The 23-year-old medical student’s form this year hasn’t gone unnoticed with a host of clubs said to be interested in trying to lure the frontman away from East Peffermill next term.

But Guthrie, who will enter his final year of study this autumn, has revealed he is not ready to turn his back on the club for a crack elsewhere.

“I’ll look at it in the summer but I think realistically with it being my final year of study next year I’ll be playing here,” Guthrie said ahead of his side’s clash at home to BSC Glasgow tomorrow. “I’ll also have more university commitments next year and the gaffer, Dorian [Ogunro], is always very flexible with us.

“I suppose my long-term future in the game really depends on where I’ll be working. The first couple of years after becoming a doctor can take up a lot of your time as you can imagine, but it’s something I’ll have to consider once I graduate and weigh up my options then.”

Uni have the opportunity to leapfrog their opponents into ninth with victory tomorrow. And, with just four league matches left to play, Guthrie, who has netted 15 goals this campaign, appreciates three points is a must if they are to give themselves any chance of securing a top-half finish.

“We drew with them 0-0 really early on in the season but our team will be fairly different to the side that faced them that day,” Guthrie said. “It should be a close game and they’ll be just as keen to get a few wins.

“We know we can go above BSC with a win tomorrow so there’s a big incentive. We finished fifth last year so that’s probably a tall order this season, but if we can keep moving up then we’ll be happy.

“We struggled a bit just after Christmas with a few tough games but we’ve picked up over the last month or so. Our league position is definitely a lot healthier.”

It was only a matter of weeks ago where things weren’t looking quite so rosy for the students. Nonetheless, having amassed 14 points in the league since the turn of the year, Uni have their sights on the teams above them rather than what’s going on below.

“It’s nice not to have that [the prospect of relegation] at the back of our minds but I think the squad have always shared Dorian’s thoughts that we were never really in a relegation battle,” Guthrie explained. “Even though we were down there for a spell we always had that belief that things would turn for us.

“I also don’t think we’ve quite been getting the rub of the green with consistency and a few other things, but once you get those couple of wins your confidence returns.

“It’s been good this year. I think I actually scored more last season but that is a general reflection on how things have gone for the club. We’ve scored less but we’ve also really shut up shop at the back too.

“It’s always nice to have that extra responsibility of being captain too. I’m one of the more experienced ones so that’s the territory it brings.”

Elsewhere, Preston Athletic, whose defeat last weekend consigned the club to bottom spot, host East Stirlingshire at the Pennypit. The Panners’ future in the Lowland League will be determined by the outcome of the end-of-season promotion play-offs.

Whitehill Welfare, who were beaten 2-1 at Cumbernauld Colts on Wednesday night, are in action against Selkirk in the Borders. David Bingham’s outfit are struggling for form having won just one from their last five outings.

Spartans, who still harbour aspirations of finishing second, travel to Broadwood to play Cumbernauld Colts and Civil Service Strollers play their second home match in seven days with the visit of Gretna 2008.