At an age when most footballers start to wind down their playing careers, 30-year-old Brian Martin is taking his to the next level.
The former Musselburgh Athletic captain has penned a deal with League Two Berwick Rangers until the end of the season – his first move to the senior ranks.
Martin, who led the Olivebank outfit to the Scottish Junior Cup final last season, admitted he was surprised when Burgh boss Stevie McLeish notified him of the Shielfield Park club’s interest as he had given up hope of playing in the SPFL. He joins three former Burgh players at the club, Michael McKenna, Graeme Beveridge and Robert Wilson.
“It’s a good chance for me to play professional football, especially at my age, I didn’t think I would ever get a chance,” he said. “It was good of Stevie and Charlie [McGlynn, Musselburgh chairman] to let me go because the club are doing really well and are going for the league.
“I’ve loved playing for Musselburgh, I’ve got a good relationship with the fans and had great banter with them. It was a hard decision, my mind wasn’t made up straight away when I got the call from Stevie, I had to go away and think about it. Everybody I spoke to said I should go for it. I’m delighted to get the move, I always thought I was capable of making the move to senior football I’ve just never been given the opportunity, I was definitely surprised.”
The left-back featured as a trialist in the 1-0 defeat to East Fife on Saturday, with the paperwork having not been completed in time, but he could make his full debut as a signed player for John Coughlin’s side at home to Arbroath this weekend.
“It was a good experience going on for half-an-hour at the weekend and it was good to tick that I’ve played professional football off the bucket list,” said Martin. “When I was younger I always got told I was too small to play professional football, so I quit the game for a while. When you’re playing with Haddington you don’t really get many clubs coming down to watch you, it’s only since I’ve been at Musselburgh that I’ve had teams interested in me.”