While his dad carved out a legendary Hearts career based on his striking prowess, Liam Robertson’s sole aim has always been to keep the ball out of the net.
The Tranent Juniors goalkeeper, son of Hearts star John, demonstrated his capabilities on Saturday as the Belters ran out surprise 2-1 winners in the quarter-finals of the Fife and Lothians Cup at home to one of the most potent attacking outfits in the Super League – table toppers Kelty Hearts.
It was some way to bow out for Robertson, who jets off to Mallorca, Spain for a three month coaching stint at the ESA soccer academy for kids. He’ll miss out on their semi-final away to Musselburgh Athletic, but hopes to return next season.
“A few of the guys were saying it was probably the biggest result in Tranent’s history. Kelty are flying and we made them look average,” said the 26-year-old.
“You look at their team and even their wage bill in comparison to what we are on, but we matched them in every department. Leading up to it, Daz [Darren Smith, co-manager] and Raff [Kenny Rafferty, co-manager] were telling us we had nothing to fear. Every time we play against a Super League team we sort of up our game and everyone in the changing room genuinely believed we could win. We looked like the Super League team.
“I don’t think I was troubled too much which is always a delight, especially when you look at some of the players they’ve got. I thought it could’ve been one of those days where it’s just attack after attack, but credit to the defence and the midfield, they were magnificent. We definitely could have scored more, without the woodwork it could’ve been four or five – it should’ve been a lot more comfortable.
“It was a great way for me to sign out. I’m gutted I’ll be missing the semi-final and potentially the final but I’m sure the boys will do me proud. I’ll be coaching kids at my mate’s academy in Alcudia, I’m looking forward to it, it will be a new experience. I spoke to Daz when I left and we’re going to reassess the situation when I come back and potentially signing as a player again, if not, a coaching role.”
Robertson only signed permanently in January having been part of former manager Gary Small’s squad but not a signed player.
He continued: “It’s been good to get some game time and prove myself at this level. The fans have left some nice messages on the Tranent [Facebook] page – they and the committee have been great with me. Hopefully I’ll be back next year and hopefully we can put in a title challenge.
“I sorted of doubted myself whether or not I could play at this level. Being a goalie sometimes you’ve just got to bide your time. I’m a bit of a joker, a bit of a socialite – I think I get that off my mum and dad. I give it as good as I take it. I’ll be the first one to have a bit of banter with the boys and the coaches too, they don’t get away with it.
“There’s a right belief in the squad at the moment. Musselburgh and Broxburn will be thinking ‘We don’t want to play them at the moment’, we’re in form and we’ve got talented boys.”