New Civil Service Strollers midfielder Kerr Allan reckons he will have to bide his time to break into Gary Jardine’s starting line-up.
The 22-year-old has joined the Christie Gillies Park outfit on an 18 month contract after recently departing Vale of Leithen. Allan, who works at the Spartans Football Academy as a full-time community coach, is in line to make his Strollers debut against Edinburgh University this weekend.
However, he believes patience will be key in his attempts to impress the coaching staff, which includes former Civil and Spartans’ East of Scotland boss Alex Cunningham.
“I know Alex very well from his time at Spartans and Gary obviously enjoyed great success with Edinburgh City, so I already knew he was a top manager,” admitted Allan.
“They’ve both got great experience and some of the boys here used to be in the same Leith team as myself, so that was also a massive factor in my decision to sign.
“I know I’ll need to be patient and work extremely hard in training to get my chance because they’ve been on a long unbeaten run, so I won’t walk straight into the team.
“Gary has a system in place that’s been very effective this season, particularly against the bigger clubs. I’ll be paying close attention to the way he likes to set up his team but hopefully I can catch his eye. Chris Anderson gave me the opportunity to test myself at this level with Vale and I’ll always be grateful. It was a considerable step up from the East of Scotland League. I loved my time there.”
Allan believes his current job role and the style of football he was encouraged to adopt at former club Leith Athletic has made him a more astute footballer. “We were always told to go out and express ourselves, to get the ball down and play and I don’t think there were many better passing sides at East of Scotland level than us at that stage.
“I feel that’s probably one of my biggest strengths; the ability to spot a pass and hopefully I can bring a bit more energy to Civil’s midfield.
“I’ve been involved as a coach at Spartans for nearly four-and-a-half years now teaching the different age groups and that’s also helped me improve as a player.
“You’re always learning new things on the job and pinpointing areas you feel you could improve on, so I’m really enjoying it.
“Thankfully I don’t think we play Spartans again, so I’ve avoided any heated exchanges with Dougie (Samuel)! It’s certainly a bit different going into work now in the mornings as a Civil player and seeing him there, but we’ve still got a good friendship and I’ll be asking him how they’re getting on.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh University captain Finn Daniels-Yeoman has told his team-mates they must toughen up and stop their lengthy winless streak. The Uni have failed to win since November and with games against BSC and league leaders East Kilbride fast approaching, Daniels-Yeoman recognises the importance of tomorrow’s encounter.
“We’ve struggled for consistency this season against teams we feel are on our level,” he said. “Our performances have been okay, but we’ve just been making too many silly mistakes.
“Civil have been flying in recent months whereas we’re on a seven-match losing run, so we know how tough a game it will be.”
Elsewhere, Whitehill Welfare are also in action against Stirling University at Forthbank Stadium.
Ian Little’s basement battlers will look to take advantage of Dalbeattie’s absence by narrowing the five-point gap between themselves and the Islecroft club.