Why Craig Hume decided time was right to take Leith Athletic player/assistant role

Leith Athletic are intent on securing promotion to the East of Scotland Premier League this season – and they are on the right track so far with a 100 per-cent record from their opening four Conference A matches.

Assistant/player Craig Hume is loving being back at the club where it all started for him as a youth player on Leith Links, with the Lochend native having returned to his roots last season before being appointed as manager Steven Chalmers’ No.2 earlier this month.

The 34-year-old centre back plans to see out the rest of his playing career with Leith, but his initial focus is firmly on securing automatic promotion into the top tier.

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“I’ve come back to finish my career, Leith has always been my local club, between them and Lochend,” said Hume.

“It came as a bit of a shock to be honest [being offered the assistant role]. Liam Burns was the assistant manager but moved to Musselburgh with Kevin Milne so the club approached me and asked me to step up to be the assistant, but carry on playing and that was a big one for me, I still wanted to carry on playing. I feel as if I’ve got a few years left in me and it was always the plan to bring in a couple of coaches in Jamie Paterson and Kenny Hall who will take care of the training side, and they will step up to the assistant role when I am playing on a Saturday.

“I’ll be assisting Stevie with the playing and signing side of things, Stevie has a great background in boys club football, and I’d like to think I have a good base of contacts in the senior ranks. I managed to persuade my wee mate Kayno [Kayne Paterson] to come in from Tranent. He is a massive signing for us, especially given the league we are in, he was doing the business in the Premier so we can only hope he can carry that in the Conference we are in.

“Kayno was sort of in the same boat as I was at Tranent under Calum [Elliot], his game time would’ve probably been limited this season. Tranent have strengthened in attacking areas and Kayno just wants to play. His best mate is John Robertson who has signed on from Craigroyston as well, so that was a big pull for him.”

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Hume expects Leith to improve further as the season goes on, ahead of visiting Rosyth tomorrow, he continued:

“Last year we went 11 or 12 unbeaten and we were just telling the boys to take it one game at a time and see where we went, and we just went from strength. This season I don’t think we’ve kicked on as well as what we did last year, we are just grinding out results. Teams just want to make it difficult for us, and we are seeing a different side to the boys – we are not playing the football that we maybe played last year but we can only improve. We can’t have asked for a better start, and there is a feeling that we’ve not even kicked into second gear yet.

“I think we’d be disappointed if we don’t get promotion, especially with the way we started last season. Anything less than promotion would be classed as a disappointing season.”

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