In the third of our new feature “Meet The Player” we caught up with Arran McKay sponsored by J D Simpson. Arran joined Scone in January 2017 having previously played for the likes of Brechin Vics & Kinnoull. As the players take a winter break from League action this week, we caught up with Arran to find out how things are going.
Q: You played as a trialist for Scone in May 2016 before joining Brechin. How close were you to signing back then & what made you come to Scone?
A: I was very close to signing but at Fair City we had just won the league and cup double so I decided to re-sign for them. It didn’t work out there early on, so I signed for Brechin as I had a previous spell with the club a couple of years prior. I left the “Vic’s” in December and because I knew a lot of the boys that were at Scone and I had just recently moved to the area, I felt it was the right move.
Q: You must be delighted how you settled in, picking up the Players Player of the Year and Player of the Year (shared with Kevin Sinclair) for 2017/18, how are you finding things this season?
A: Yes absolutely, to get awards at any team is always a bonus. This season so far has been good and I think it shows when you look at the League table. We have a great bunch of players and management within the team but we know it’s going to be a tough second half of the year to try and keep challenging.
Q: When did you start playing football?
A: My early memories start when I was about 13/14. I played for Gannochy from about u15s through to u17s then moved to Letham at u19s. My coaches at Letham were involved with my local amateur team Bridgeton AFC so I ended up signing for them before making the move into Juniors. I’ve certainly met some good friends and played with some good footballers throughout the years.
Q: What advice would you give to a kid starting out now?
A: My advice would be to listen to your coach or manager and never let a defeat stop you from enjoying it, football can change so quickly.
Q: I know you’re a gym regular, what training do you do away from Scone Thistle?
A: I usually try and get to the gym every night we don’t train, so around 3 times a week. It keeps me busy at night and I enjoy it which helps. There’s a few boys in the team that go to the same gym so I’m never short of a training partner. Personally it’s all weight and core exercises that I focus on, I feel I get enough cardio from our training sessions and games!
Q: What’s the extra benefit from that?
A: Certainly nowadays upper body strength in football has become more visible in professional players and the like. On the pitch when trying to protect the ball, being stronger than your opponent is a huge benefit. I’ve never been known to be muscley so any gain I can get is a bonus for me!
Q: Do you have any pre match rituals?
A: I’m not really a superstitious type, the only thing I do the same each week would be wearing my cut socks rather than the ones from the kit bag. A rub on my legs from Eric the physio is also becoming more regular but I think that’s an age thing!
Q: Who’s the joker in the dressing room?
A: Thinking about it, we don’t really have anyone who would stand out as the joker. There’s always good banter being thrown about by everyone and the dressing room is a good place to be at the moment. If I had to give it to someone it would probably be Martin Strachan.
Q: Who organises the team nights out & what’s been the best one?
A: Kev Sinclair is classed as the night out committee. Since I’ve been at the club he takes great pleasure in organising the nights out for the boys. I think I’ve been on 3 or 4 now and each one has been great. I’d probably say the recent Christmas one in Glasgow was my favourite. Martin Strachan is in charge of collecting the monthly £10 from the lads and this will be funding our end of season do which I’m sure will be another great weekend away.
Q: The Club are always grateful for all of the support received from local businesses & sponsors, do you have a message for your sponsor J D Simpson?
A: I know John well and would class him as a good friend. He knows that the Club and I are grateful for his support and it was great to see him being rewarded by winning the shirt draw and having his company logo on the back of our new away strip (pictured).