Jamie Stevenson Interview
1st November 2011
Would you call this your second spell at Airdrie or does it feel like you never left?
Apart from being on trial at Inverness, I never really left – just picked up where we finished last year. It doesn’t feel as if too much has changed over the summer, there’s a wee bit more experience this year with Derek Holmes and David Lilley but other than that it seems the same.
What happened with the trial at Inverness?
I went up at the end of last season and they asked me back pre-season. So I went back and got injured in the first week, then they asked me to keep going back up for training for the first four weeks of training. We had done a pre-season tour down in England – I thought I done reasonably well but they got the chance of other boys and went for the experience at higher divisions in England and released me unfortunately.
The gaffer never closed the door on me, he made me an offer at the end of the season and thankfully the Supporters Trust came in and helped the manager out with some funds to pay my wages. It’s all worked out in the end.
It must seem like a long time ago now, but tell me about your experience in Spain.
That was total night and day from what I was used to here. The game seems to be a lot more technical, but not as fast. The fundamentals are still the same. It was a good experience, and I kind of grew up a wee bit while I was there as well. It was a totally different way of playing football.
Do you wish it had gone better than it had?
It wasn’t really so much I’d wished that, the football was going fine but I was just young and I still had 18 months left on my deal and in hindsight I was homesick. Hindsight’s a good thing but it’s my only regret in football leaving there as it was such an education and I’ll never really hit those heights again. Which is unfortunate, but that’s life and stuff like that happens!
What kept drawing you back to Alloa?
I went to Mallorca from Alloa, they bought me for a nominal fee, and when I first went to Mallorca I signed a 18 month deal and after four weeks I got an extension. I got a first-team/B-team contract but part of that was a minimum clause of £100,000 if someone wanted to buy me. At the time I wanted to come home and Clyde were interested in me. But that money is a lot to ask for an 18 year old boy that hadn’t even done anything. So it was agreed that I’d go back to Alloa.
Now you’re here, and it seems like you’re the set piece specialist. How much practise goes into set pieces in training?
We get a good bit of training at the end on a Thursday night, but it’s different when you’re part-time, it’s a lot harder to squeeze stuff in the couple of hours. Monday night is the work night, we do a lot of ball work, but most of the emphasis is on fitness. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard after Saturday to do fitness work on Monday when your body isn’t fully recovered.
Graeme Owens has a wicked free kick on him too, but the ‘keeper saves them most of the time! You need to just keep hitting the target and hope one of them goes in.
Well you have hit the target and scored a couple of goals this season already.
Aye, but I should be scoring more. I should be getting at least 10 from midfield, that’s a personal target of mine. Ultimately this season is about getting Airdrie in the play-offs, try pushing us further up the league, consolidate ourselves with a play-off place and kick on from there.
We’ve got a good enough team. Last three games we’ve had a man sent off and played 120 minutes with 10 men and been solid in the games. If we can keep men on the pitch I’d have fancied us to take those games. But that’s what happens when you’ve got an inexperienced side.
What are your thoughts on the game at Albion Rovers on Saturday?
It’s always a big one for the fans but we just take confidence from the game when we beat them 4-0. The momentum was built from that game. It’s more so for the fans a derby day, and they’ve been brilliant after the start we’ve had and it’d be nice to send them up the road with three points and a smile on their face.
Interview by Douglas Barrie