Civil Service Strollers' Baris Ozturk loving all things about the Lowland League club - including manager Gary Jardine

Turkish full-back Baris Ozturk feels he has been given a fresh start by joining Lowland League outfit Civil Service Strollers.

The 20-year-old, who was born in Scotland but left 15 years ago with his family for a new life in Istanbul, is back in his country of birth after seeking a new challenge on and off the pitch.

The youngster shares his affection for manager Gary Jardine, who has taken him under his wing since arriving in the Capital in February.

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It's a move he is making the most of and is also working part-time at a coffee house at the top of Elm Row.

Baris Ozturk, right, is enjoying life at Strollers

"It's a very different way of life over in Turkey," Ozturk explained. "Istanbul is a very crowded city and a lot tougher than Scotland. I really couldn't take living over there much more so I was keen to try something new.

"I feel settled, although it rains a lot! I hope to go to college and study to become an electrician but I need to get used to living here first.

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"I've played football my whole life and was with Istanbulspor's academy for ten years before they signed me to a professional contract. I then went out on loan last year but I felt I met a lot of unlucky people as I didn't get my chance.

"I then met Gary not long after I came over in February and I love him. I trained for a couple of months and then signed in the summer. Scottish football has a lot of a potential and it should be thought of more across the world. My team-mates are lovely people too."

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Ozturk is suspended for tomorrow's visit of city rivals Spartans to Christie Gillies Park but insists he will make his presence known from the sidelines.

"I think we deserved to take it to penalties based on our second-half performance but I can't say anything about the first 45," he said of last weekend's 2-1 Scottish Cup defeat to Fraserburgh. "It was awful. We want to bounce back so I'll be down to watch my team-mates on.

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"I think we have the squad to beat all of the Lowland League clubs. Every footballer wants to play at the highest level and I'm no different. I just need to keep working hard and we will see what happens."