New Edinburgh City signing Robbie McIntyre may not be the most recognisable name, but the chances are you’ve seen him around.
The former Rangers and Huddersfield defender joined the Citizens from East of Scotland side Tynecastle last week, and combines playing with being a personal trainer and model. Unsurprisingly, he was thrust straight in to the club’s kit-launch photo-shoot.
In time, he’ll hope he’ll be known for his strong displays on the left hand side for James McDonaugh’s team, but until the season gets under way in earnest, he’ll have to make do with his current claim to Capital fame.
“There was a funny campaign I did for the Scottish Government actually,” recalled the 24-year-old. “I can’t remember the name of the campaign but it ended up with me, topless, on every bus stop in Edinburgh for a bit so I got a lot of stick for that! That’s the biggest thing I’ve done.
“I don’t know what they were calling it but it was basically about people sending intimate pictures online, like a warning. So I was the face of this thing and it looked like I was the guilty one! It’s a funny old job
“You’re walking past bus stops with your head down trying to go as fast as you can, but then the next one has it as well! It was funny though and I enjoy doing it. I like to try and keep my life as exciting as possible and overcome challenges. That’s my life.”
Those challenges have come on and off the park for McIntyre, a family bereavement not only robbing him of his father, but his enthusiasm for the game as well. He credits a return north and three years paying with Tynecastle with getting him back to normal.
“I left full-time football in 2014 and was having a few personal issues with family illness and stuff,” he explained. “My dad passed away and he was such a big supporter of me, I just sort of lost the same love for it that I’d had. I really struggled to even go to training and did not enjoy it. I was at a point where I just hated it but the last few years I’ve built myself back up and I really feel like I’ve made the right move here and I’m going in the right direction.
“Lee Wallace was there. He’s a great guy and a great coach as well. He’ll do well on the coaching side of things. Stevie Vinter and his brother Ross were great as well. They really understood that when there were times when I was a bit down, they took that in to consideration and allowed me time off if I needed it. That really helped me get to where I am today.”
The East of Scotland League may be a modest level for Wallace to have taken his initial steps in coaching, but McIntyre believes it could be the start of a successful career.
“We never actually spoke when I was at Rangers but I did see him in and around the building,” he said.
“He was always injured as well – the whole two years I was there I think he played once or something like that. He’s just been unlucky with injuries.
“I didn’t really know him well before, but obviously I got to know him during the three years we worked together and he’s great.
“It’s been good for his coaching career to be there for three years. Around the club there was some great players. People forget that when they see that level, there’s a lot of young players playing against men who could actually do well in the game but they just need the opportunity.
“The set up was really good – he was very professional in the way he did things and I think it’s got him going. It’s a humble start to something that could be great.”
As for his own prospects, the move back in to the professional ranks is something McIntyre has been aiming for. “I was delighted when James approached me and said he was interested in signing me for next season,” he admitted. “I think being at Tynecastle has been good for me the last few years on a personal level, but to come to Edinburgh City and get back in to professional football is definitely what I want to be doing.”