Although they couldn’t fare much more different in their respective positions, Tynecastle striker Stewart Adams says Rangers captain Lee Wallace is turning him into something of a goal machine.
The former Cavalry Park youth player has been in prolific early-season form having hit seven goals from five outings as Tynie have already sealed their place in the knockout stages of the Qualifying League Cup as well as a semi-final spot in the Alex Jack Cup.
And now Adams, 22, has praised the role full-back Wallace is having on the squad with the former Hearts player a key figure of head coach Stevie Vinter’s backroom team.
Wallace is of course a notable absentee on matchdays due to his commitments with the Ibrox men but that hasn’t deterred Adams, nor his team-mates for that matter, from hitting the goal trail just six weeks into the new season.
“Lee’s a great player but he’s also the best coach I’ve ever worked under. His ideas are great, everything we do is with the ball and that includes our running drills. It’s really enjoyable,” he said.
“Even though Lee plays left-back for Rangers, even when we’re doing attacking drills it’s always him that takes it. It’s his ideas and his philosophies that has got us playing the way we’re playing and so far it’s really paid off as we’re scoring a lot of goals. It’s great for us as a team to learn from a player of his calibre.
“We train every Tuesday and Thursday and I’ve never seen Lee miss one yet. He’s really committed to us.
“Stevie’s a brilliant manager and his brother Ross is also involved as well so it’s a great set-up we’ve got going at the club. I’m really happy with how things are.”
Adams made a 30-minute appearance from the bench during last weekend’s Alex Jack Cup 9-0 thrashing of Eyemouth United but still managed to steal the headlines with a 26-minute hat-trick. However, Tynie face arguably their biggest test of the season so far tomorrow when they travel to Rosewell to play hosts and Lowland League opposition Whitehill Welfare in the second round of the Football Nation Qualifying Cup. “The way things are at my work, my shifts patterns see me doing backshift one week, nightshift the next and then on to days, so I couldn’t make training last week which meant I was on the bench against Eyemouth,” Adams explained. “I came on with half an hour to go and scored a hat-trick so you can’t go wrong with that! Stevie explained to me before the match that I wouldn’t be starting but I’ve been at training all this week so hopefully I’ve done enough to start tomorrow.
“We’ve been playing and training well so you never know. We don’t fear Whitehill – upsets happen.
“We take every game as it comes so no matter what the result is we’ll not be getting ahead of ourselves. We are the underdogs but we are confident.
“We don’t set ourselves any targets, we’ll just see where we are at the end of the season and hopefully we’re successful. Every year we’re improving and the gaffer has made a lot of really good signings this time.”
Adams says a league title challenge is well within their grasp this year and the potential rewards on offer.
“Of course we’d love to play in the Scottish Cup if we were to win the league,” he said. “It’s good to see how Leith have been doing so far this season because it’s great for the East of Scotland League. We all want to play at the highest level and test ourselves as well so we know what’s on offer.”
Elsewhere in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup, Spartans are in action down in the Borders tomorrow where East of Scotland opponents Coldstream await at Home Park.
It’s also a big weekend in the South Region Challenge Cup. There is an all-Lowland affair at Christie Gillies Park where Civil Service Strollers host current league leaders East Kilbride. Craig Nisbet will hope his struggling Preston Athletic side can overcome lower league opposition in Tweedmouth Rangers at the Pennypit to progress and Heriot-Watt University welcome BSC Glasgow to Riccarton for their first-round clash. Banji Koya’s men have enjoyed a fine start to the season and will be looking to spring a surprise. And, there is one East of Scotland showdown at Saughton Enclosure as Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale entertain Ormiston.