It’s fair to say striker Sean Jamieson has not had it easy with injuries in recent years, but he’s hopeful he can rediscover his form of several years ago under the manager where it all started for him in the Juniors.
Jamieson is back at Newtongrange Star under boss Stevie McLeish with the bit between his teeth after a recent switch from Penicuik Athletic as he bids to overcome his injury nightmare.
McLeish gave him his first shot at Haddington Athletic six years ago, his goalscoring prowess with the Millfield Park men earning him a move to East Fife before a return to the Juniors with Newtongrange.
Now 28, Jamieson would go on to rack up the goals at both Nitten and Musselburgh as he earned a name for himself as a prolific goalscorer. That theme continued in his first season at Bonnyrigg Rose before sciatica got the better of him. It’s been an uphill struggle since then.
“I’ve not had the best two years,” said Jamieson. “I’ve had injuries and it didn’t quite work out at Bonnyrigg, then I moved to Penicuik, and to be honest, still had a few niggling injuries.
“I started pre-season there feeling good and quite fit, then I got a wee knock on my ankle which set me back. I just had a chat with Johnny [Harvey], and he was wanting me to stay, but he was open and honest with me – we had four or five strikers and I was needing game time having not played for a while.
“He was kind of saying that he wanted me to stay, but also an option if I wanted to seek a move. At that point in time I just needed to play games and having played at Newtongrange that came up. I’ve played under Stevie twice before at Haddington and Musselburgh; Stevie kens me and I ken Stevie so hopefully I can get back to where I was a few years ago now.
“I never really recovered from that [sciatica] and even when I was feeling better, I never managed to get the games that I needed to get back to the level of performance I had shown previously. It’s been really, really frustrating for me, but I kind of feel like I’m at place now with my injury where I’m on top of it and I’m managing it, it’s not causing me a problem, it’s just maybe getting back up to match speed and getting my confidence back now.
“I feel like I need three or four games to get back up to speed and hopefully the goals come from there.”
Nitten host Leith Athletic in the first round of the Football Nation Qualifying Cup tomorrow, with the visitors still seeking their first victory of the new campaign after a tough start.
Boss Steven Chalmers believes it will take time for his squad to adapt to a new-look East of Scotland set-up.
He said: “It’s not been the easiest of starts, it’s safe to say the standard of the East of Scotland League has been raised significantly.
“I think a lot of the [old] East of Scotland teams are going to have to adapt in terms of how we set about games in terms of the opposition and the style of the football. The style of the play is going to suit that of the Junior teams who are used to playing against each other whereas maybe for the East of Scotland teams it’s a bit difficult.
“The standard is a lot higher. We prided ourself last season on being well prepared and organised, and now we need to take a step up again. There’s not going to be any easy or gimme games this season, they are going to be against tactical sides who are well organised.”