Sean Jamieson jumped at the chance to join Penicuik Athletic from Super League rivals Bonnyrigg Rose to find regular game time – and he’d love nothing more than to pip his former club to the title.
The 27-year-old sealed a surprise switch across Midlothian last Friday and started his Cuikie career with a bang less than 24 hours later when he netted on his debut in a 7-0 rout of Livingston United.
The former East Fife man has been a prolific goalscorer in the top flight since he made the move to Newtongrange Star from the Bayview outfit in 2015, but despite netting more than 20 goals for Rose last season after joining from Musselburgh Athletic in the summer, he was unable to hold down a regular starting spot in Robbie Horn’s side with sciatica troubling him for six months.
Jamieson had hoped to feature more when Horn departed Rose to take the reins at Berwick Rangers last month, but still found playing time limited under new boss David White.
“I’ve been frustrated with the lack of games in the last few weeks and after the season I had last year, being injured for a bit, I just felt I needed a run of games to get back to the level I know I can play at,” said Jamieson, ahead of hosting Forfar West End tomorrow.
“I obviously wasn’t getting that so I was getting a bit more frustrated every week. With Whitey coming in I was hoping for a fresh start, but speaking to him he couldn’t guarantee that – not that I’d expect to go anywhere and be guaranteed a game, but he couldn’t guarantee me the run of games that I need.
“I played towards the end of last season, I finished the season pretty strong but the start to this season was kind of stop start. I was in and out the team, playing one game and then on the bench, then getting 20 minutes. I’d spoke to Robbie and he was quite keen to keep me at the club and get me back to playing the level I should. Whitey came in and he obviously had different ideas, I don’t know if he just couldn’t promise me games because he’s maybe needing to get results early on and wants to play players who are at the top of their game just now.
“Going to Penicuik, I’m not guaranteed a regular start either but I just feel there is more opportunity there having spoken to Johnny [Harvey, Penicuik boss]. I had a chat with him and he just kind of explained what he does in the club and what he expects from the players and how I would fit into that. The style of play, they play two upfront, is probably a bit more suited to myself because now and again I was playing out wide of a three.
“I’m injury free now but I still need to get the sharpness and confidence, which comes with games and goals. Hopefully Penicuik can be the club for that.”
Talk of challenging for the title is premature given the campaign is less than two months old, but Penicuik will be up there with favourites Bonnyrigg if they can maintain their current run of form.
Joint-top, they are unbeaten in the Super League so far and Jamieson sees no reason why they can’t be in the mix come June next year.
Jamieson continued: “It’s a right energetic, good group of boys and we’ll see where the season takes us. They’ve had a really good start, if you keep winning you never know where it will take you. The likes of Bonnyrigg and Linlithgow will be strong, but we’ve got a right decent team.
“I’ve got nothing but good words to say about Bonnyrigg, but at the end of the day I’m a Penicuik player now and I want to be successful here and score goals and if that’s the way it works out [beating Rose to the title], that would be the perfect season for myself having moved on.”
The challenge for Penicuik boss Harvey will to keep his four strikers happy – all of whom have started the season in fine form.
Harvey added: “I want four good strikers who are all banging in goals, that’s a good problem to have. You are never going to keep every single player happy. I’m not going to be liked by every single player in the squad, I’m not here to be liked, I’m here to be successful.”