Most players who find themselves out of the starting XI can usually cite injury, suspension or loss of form. Edinburgh City’s Jordan Caddow lost his place due to a babysitting emergency.
The 32-year-old was back in from the start last Saturday as Gary Jardine’s team played out a 0-0 draw with Clyde at Meadowbank, having only made the bench since the end of 2016. With City short on numbers, he is likely to be a starter for tomorrow’s trip to Annan – provided he can find someone to watch seven-month-old daughter Jess.
“I actually had to take the wee one along to Meadowbank as my girlfriend’s mum was in a bit of an accident,” Caddow explained. “I was due to be playing. It was just after playing Arbroath where we’d won 1-0. I was playing in the same position I played the last Saturday and thought ‘I’m playing pretty well here.’ It was Annan we were playing the next again week but then the accident happened with my girlfriend’s mum and I couldn’t play. I’ve had to text the gaffer and tell him I wouldn’t be able to make it. I thought to myself ‘he’s given me a chance to try and cement my place in the team as well!’ I’ve ended up going along with the wee one and just watching. We won 1-0 and after that we had an unbeaten run. It’s just one of those things you need to deal with.”
That aside, combining dad duties with League Two hasn’t been an issue for Caddow. “It’s actually not too bad at all,” he said. “That’s testament to my girlfriend Emma, to be honest. She’s the one that puts up with it. There’s times when we can’t do stuff and she’s like ‘see your fitba!’ but I tell her it has to be done! I’ve not got long to go – I’m 32 but I feel fit as anything, so I’m all good.”
“Fit as anything” can’t really be applied to the Edinburgh City squad as a whole ahead of tomorrow’s encounter at Galabank. Dean Cummings, Chris McKee and Marc Laird all missed the weekend stalemate with Barry Ferguson’s Clyde, while Joe Mbu was forced off with a knee injury.
That afforded Caddow an opportunity at centre back. Whilst he’s grateful to be back in the team, he’s keen to acknowledge the bigger picture when it comes to who is and isn’t playing. It was really good after not playing for about six weeks,” he reflected. “It was more difficult personally than anything, to be honest. The boys went on a great run so you’ve just got to keep training hard and try your best to look at the bigger picture. It’s about Edinburgh City, not yourself. You just have to bide your time and wait for your chance. Thankfully, from a personal perspective, Chris McKee was injured and Ryan Porteous had a midweek game against Rangers [for Hibs’ Development Squad] so I was called in.
“We got a 0-0 draw on the back of two defeats so hopefully I’ve done enough to stay in. Big Joe [Mbu] got quite a bad one on Saturday and I don’t know if he’ll be available so hopefully I’ll be back in again.”
The quality of player that has left Meadowbank in search of regular game time shows how City have strengthened over the last six months to a year. “People like Sean Muhsin and Neil Martynuik are good players, but have had to go and do their own thing,” said Caddow. “They’ve felt they needed a chance to play and it’s just one of those things. If the gaffer makes a tactical decision, I’m pretty sure it’s never personal.”
If Jardine can get a tune out of his team in Dumfriesshire tomorrow, there’s no reason why City can’t record a first win of 2017. “In this league, our unbeaten run said it all – it’s all about momentum,” Caddow insisted. “Annan will be looking to bounce back after suffering a big defeat against Berwick. That’s another thing in this league, there’s rarely a whipping. If teams do go and win 6-0, it’s a one-off. It’s usually a 2-1 or a 0-0, everybody can beat everybody.”