Confidence is a key ingredient for any successful footballer and it’s obvious that Musselburgh Athletic striker Jordyn Sheerin isn’t suffering from a lack of it at the moment.
He is within two strikes of breaking a 14-year goalscoring record at the Olivebank club, held by Scott Porteous – a feat he could never have expected to come close to earlier this year. But, having scored 29 goals in just 20 games this season, he is on target to do just that.
Sheerin had fallen out of love with football after spells with East Fife, Arbroath and East Striling. He arrived at the East Lothian club in the summer carrying extra weight but, having shed the excess pounds, he now carries the weight of expectation on his shoulders as Burgh bid for a Scottish Junior Cup semi-final place in tomorrow’s clash at home to Penicuik Athletic.
“I wasn’t enjoying it at all,” said Sheerin on his spells at Senior. “I broke my ankle so I was out for a few months and then I was out injured at Arbroath as well. Recurring injuries got me down and I never really featured that much; when I did, I didn’t play to the best of my ability.
“I knew I’d come in (here) and do OK, I just never knew I would do quite as well as I have done, which is a bonus. If you go in and you start enjoying your football – playing with a smile on your face, you tend to play better. Before I wasn’t interested in keeping fit, but now I’m training twice a week and playing on a Saturday, and every other day I’m in the gym. I’m feeling fitter than ever.”
His early-season form caught the attention of League One side Dunfermline Athletic, who brought him in for training at the end of last year before manager Jim Jefferies resigned in December.
A move back to Senior football could be on the horizon in the summer, but Sheerin is just focused on maintaining his form at Musselburgh for the time being. He would certainly like to get on the scoresheet tomorrow, as he can’t contemplate losing to a Penicuik outfit which includes close friends Dougie Cunnison, Greig Ross and Scott McCulloch.
He added: “I wouldn’t like to lose against them as I wouldn’t hear the end of it. It will be a case of going in and trying to doing the business and we can be friends after it. They are a good, big strong side with a lot of experience and we’ll need to be on our game on the day.”
His manager, Stevie McLeish, is also having a belter of a season. Having taken over from David McGlynn in October, his team have lost just one of their last 13 under his stewardship, with an unbeaten home record intact.
McLeish admits he could never have wished to be on the brink of a last-four place in the Scottish Junior Cup.
He said: “When I took over I just wanted to keep things going and see where it took us. At no point did I say ‘lets look to get to the Scottish Cup quarter-finals and the chance of a semi-final.’ “I said to the boys when I came in ‘let’s try and remain in the Scottish until at least after Christmas and see where it takes us from there’ and that’s never changed.”
Midfielder Darren Smith is back in contention for Burgh after sitting out last week, while goalkeeper Murray Jackson has been brought in on loan from Spartans as cover for Ally Adams until the end of the season.