Blair Henderson is targeting 20 goals for Edinburgh City this season, and the former Annan striker believes he is part of a team that is set up to help him achieve it.
The 23-year-old arrived from Galabank in the summer after netting 16 times for Peter Murphy’s men in the last campaign, who finished seventh in SPFL League Two.
That return convinced James McDonaugh to bring him to Ainslie Park. By comparison, City’s top marksman was on-loan Falkirk forward Scott Shepherd, who managed eight. In fact, the last striker to reach double figures was Ross Allum, with 29 in the season of the club’s historic promotion to the SPFL.
“I never want to put pressure on myself to score goals, because it’s one of the hardest things to do,” said Henderson. “So far, everywhere I’ve been I’ve managed to bring goals and in the last three seasons I’ve ended up the team’s top goalscorer, so hopefully I can do that again.
“I want to break the 20-goal mark. That’s my aim and it has been for the last two or three seasons. I’ve not quite managed it yet but that’s what I’m looking for.”
Henderson managed two in three games against the Citizens last term, which no doubt helped in McDonaugh’s decision to take him, although he’ll be hoping any strikes in black and white result in more points.
“Every time we played them we said they were one of the better footballing teams,” Henderson said. “We had a couple of cracking games against them where they beat us 3-2 in two of the four games we played them.
“They went 3-0 up in both before we came back in to it near the end. I got three against them so that interested the manager enough to want to sign me.
“There were a lot of things that interested me. I’m a bit older, albeit only 23 but I’ve got a good job as a trainee accountant in Kelso and the travelling to Annan was getting a but much. I was getting changed in the toilet at work and leaving straight from there to get to training on time.
“Training’s only 40 minutes away now, which is the closest of any team I’ve played for. You don’t really notice it until you’re getting to do it. Already, four weeks in, I’m thinking ‘this is much better than everywhere I’ve been’ just for travelling and the time involved.
“Now I get to come home, I’ve got a bit of time to chill and go to the gym and stuff before I go to training which will hopefully keep me in better condition.
“The ambition that the club is showing is something that I wanted to be involved in.”
While Henderson will likely be the main man in terms of who City rely on for goals, the skill set of his fellow strikers seems to compliment him well, especially with one of them being an old pal.
“I think it’s quite obvious what the manager’s tried to do in terms of bringing players in,” he said. “He’s brought in myself, who’s a bigger target man if you like, although I don’t like saying that about myself as I think I bring a bit more.
“He’s brought in quick players to play around me and to get crosses in to the box. Allan [Smith] is one of my best friends, he’s from down my way as well so we share lifts up together and stuff. Graham Taylor is pacey too.
“Josh Walker could be out for a while which will be a big loss as I was looking forward to playing with him. I played against him last year a few times and he always looked really good. Hopefully he’s not out for too long. I know Danny Handling from back in the day at Hibs and have seen him around. He’ll bring quality to this league and hopefully give me a few assists.”
City kick-off their third season as a league club at home to relegated Albion Rovers tomorrow, who are something of an unknown quantity after big changes this summer. “It’s massively important that we get off to a good start,” insisted Henderson. “If we’d been offered we’d just want a home game as the first one.
“I’ve no idea who Albion Rovers have signed to be honest. Coming down from the league above you’d expect them to be of good quality so we’re not taking anything for granted.”