Keiron Renton couldn’t refuse the offer of a return to Musselburgh Athletic when Calvin Shand came calling in the summer.
Former Scotland youth cap Renton established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Juniors at Olivebank before he left for Newtongrange Star in 2012 and went on to spend four years with the New Victoria Park club.
When former Burgh team-mate Shand requested his services after his contract expired at Star at the end of last season, 32-year-old Renton wasted no time in becoming one of his first recruits.
Shand had to assemble a whole new squad with just one player remaining from last season. Charged with preserving Burgh’s Super League status, he couldn’t really have got off to better start with Musselburgh set to go fourth if they can secure victory at home to Dundonald Bluebell tomorrow.
“It’s good to be back at Musselburgh. Calvin has built a good squad and the first couple of months have been really enjoyable,” said Renton.
“I played with Calvin, so I knew him before and, to be fair, when he phoned me it was something I felt I couldn’t really turn down. I know his philosophy and how he wants to play the game and it’s all the right way.
“We’ve had an OK start, we feel we could’ve turned a couple of the draws into wins which would’ve made it a great start. I feel there is still more to come from the boys so it’s looking good.
“With only having one signed player from last season it was going to be a difficult job for him to go into. Survival is the aim and then next year we can hopefully kick on further.”
While Renton is happy to unwind his career in the Juniors having had a taste of Senior football, brother Kris earned a surprise move to the SPFL in the summer, joining League Two outfit Cowdenbeath.
Keeper Renton started off his career down south at Blackburn Rovers, spending five years with the Lancashire club before moving back to Scotland with Elgin City and thereafter enjoyed spells at Stenhousemuir and Raith Rovers.
“Just having kids, I felt it was time to go local because there’s a lot of travelling in those divisions,” he continued.
“Kris is enjoying it at Cowden. They’ve not had a great start to be honest, but he’s enjoying every minute of it and hopefully they can start picking up results. He’s played every minute of every game I think when he’s been available.”
Shand is content with how his newly-assembled squad has started the season. He is adamant that keeping Musselburgh in the top flight is his priority, although he admits tomorrow’s encounter, followed by a trip to Fauldhouse United, could mould the rest of their season and give them an idea of where they might end up.
He said: “We went through a wee spell of not winning games, but I think we need to be a bit realistic considering what we came in to with the size of the squad and what we’ve built up.
“The goal has always been to survive and we’ve started off alright, I couldn’t be happier with the players.
“We’ve got a couple of big games coming up before the Scottish Cup game which will mould the rest of our season. At the moment we’re just taking each game as it comes and we’ll see how we end up.
“I don’t think there’s any easy games in this league. We need to win our home games and we need to beat teams who are round about us if we want to achieve what we’re trying to achieve.”