Travelling the world was just something Spartans striker Willie Bremner had to get out of his system.
Following a successful three-year stint with the Ainslie Park side that began in 2012 – his highlight being crowned the inaugural Lowland League champions two years later – Bremner decided he couldn’t suppress his desire to travel the globe any longer. Aged 25, he was willing to put his life and football career on hold and write some new chapters.
However, Bremner is now back with a vengeance and ready to lead Spartans to their second league title in four years and, with that, a chance of promotion to SPFL League 2.
Now 27, Bremner has settled back in the Capital again and is fully focused on the challenges ahead.
“I have always wanted to go travelling and just felt the time was right to do that in 2015,” Bremner, explained. “I had enjoyed my time with Spartans and things had gone well. But it’s something I think you have to take the opportunity to do when you are young.
“(Spartans boss) Dougie [Samuel] was disappointed but he understood my decision and completely backed me. I’d been planning it for quite a few years so I just had to get it out of my system. I visited a lot of Asia before I went to Australia and settled in Sydney for almost two years.
“I don’t have any regrets. It’s actually been a year since I’ve been back. I’m glad to be back and settling down a little bit.”
Bremner revealed his first season back at the club hasn’t entirely gone to plan. Increased competition up front coupled with recurring injuries has seen the frontman struggle to hit the net on a regular basis.
“I didn’t play really when I was away travelling, just a couple of kickabouts here and there,” Bremner recalled. “It was good to just to have a break from everything. When I first came home I joined my local amateur team Clermiston Star as I had to get my fitness back up. It was good to play with my mates and kept me ticking over until the summer but you’d be on the end of some pretty meaty challenges.
“I wasn’t sure where I was going to be this season but Dougie gave me a call and it was a no-brainer to rejoin Spartans.
“Things went really well in my first spell where we won the Lowland League. We had some good cup runs and I scored a lot of goals so there are some great days to look back on.”
However, that was then and Bremner is very much in the now. Stirling University are the visitors to Ainslie Park tomorrow where the hosts will be looking to pick up another big three points. East Kilbride remain the team to catch at the top, however, Spartans do have four games in hand over the reigning league champions.
“Having the size of squad we have is going to be a big plus in the weeks and months ahead,” he said. “I’ve not played as many games as I’d hoped but I still want to make a big contribution between now and the end of the season. I’ve had a good run though the last couple of games so fingers crossed I can keep it going.
“It was disappointing to lose to East Kilbride in the (Football Nation) Cup on Tuesday night. They will take a lot of confidence having beaten us twice recently but we don’t have to play them again. We are desperate to finish on a high.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh University welcome another of this season’s league title hopefuls BSC Glasgow to Peffermill while Civil Service Strollers visit Selkirk. In the South Region Challenge Cup, Whitehill Welfare take on Vale of Leithen in a third-round tie at Victoria Park.