In joining Edinburgh City, Gavin Malin may have dropped down a level, but doesn’t believe he’s “missing out” on anything after leaving last year’s League Two champions Arbroath.
After five years moving between the various Angus clubs under Dick Campbell, Malin joined City this summer, making his debut in the 3-1 opening day defeat against former side Montrose.
While open to staying with The Lichties, the chance to try something new with City was one he didn’t want to turn down. “I’d signed and I was pretty much set on staying there,” said the midfielder. “I then got a call from Dick saying that Gary [Jardine] had been on the phone and was interested in having a chat.
“I had no issues with Arbroath, I really, really liked it there and the dressing-room was great. I just thought maybe it was time for a change. I’d been with Dick for five years and I’ve been playing with Omar [Kader] for the last eight years so it was time to get out of the car and leave him alone!
“It had been a similar set up with Dick for a good number of years so I thought why not try something new? Dick told me he’d never stop me doing something like that. They were keen to keep me as cover for a few positions but we had a good relationship and he wouldn’t stand in my way.
“I’ve played in League One a lot so it wasn’t like something I felt I was missing out on. I’d done it with Forfar for a few years and been involved with play-off campaigns etc. Winning the league last year was great and we had that trip to Magaluf which was great fun with the boys. When you look at it that way it was a good send off.”
Training at his place of work – Oriam – was also a selling point. “You can look at it both ways: there’s the fact that I never leave the place,” Malin laughed. “It’s easier with less of a commute and saves me a bit of time. I go home after work before training which is nice.”
Two dramatic 1-0 wins at Gayfield last term, the latter coming via a stoppage time Ryan Porteous goal that effectively kept City up, meant Malin’s new side certainly made an impression on his old one.
“I said it to Gary and a few of the lads before I signed but Edinburgh City were our bogey team last season,” Malin recalled. “They were the team Arbroath liked playing the least. They had a specific system that caused us problems in that we couldn’t get around it.
“It’s a system that will probably suit me as a central midfield player. We play three of four central midfielders. I’ve played three games now and it seems to suit my game, albeit we haven’t won. It’s not through lack of trying though and we feel we’re getting there.”
For the time being, City are at the opposite end of the League Two table than Malin was used with Arbroath last term, which will acquire some adjustment until they start moving up the way. “I know they had a tricky start last year, and we realise we don’t want to go through that again,” he said. “We’re committed to making sure it doesn’t happen and we keep talking about it. We feel we aren’t playing badly enough for it to continue, that we’re in position where we will start scoring goals and hopefully that’s this Saturday.”
Elgin are the second visitors of the season to Ainslie Park, having won their first home game in six months after last weekend’s 3-2 comeback victory over Clyde. Malin admits Elgin’s recent struggle for form should have no bearing on City’s attempts to claim a maiden three points at their temporary home.
“Last year they were always a tough team to play against,” he explained. “Elgin and Edinburgh City we always thought were the best footballing teams. I haven’t seen them this year but you can’t read in to their form too much. We just have to concentrate on scoring.
“Your home form has to be good. I know Ainslie Park well from my Spartans days and a lot of the guys have played there a few times. The boys quite like playing at Ainslie Park so there isn’t that new ground hoodoo that people talk about. Once we get a win we’ll be fine.”