Ryan Donnelly interview
13th November 2011
What happened to the game plan against Albion Rovers?
No idea! I’m still trying to get over it.
It must have been pretty hard for the team (and obviously the fans) to take...
Especially, aye. Because it’s the first we’ve been really hammered and it’s different at professional level than it is getting hammered at youth level.
Was it one of the worst games you’ve played in?
Probably THE worst. Just everything about it was brutal.
How long have you been at Airdrie now?
This is my fifth year, including playing at youth level but obviously I turned professional last season.
So you’ll have grown up with a few of the other younger players in the squad?
There’s me, Jamie, Keasty, Graeme Goodall, Scott Sally and Scott Morton.
Does it help that you’ve been playing together for so long?
Aye, you kind of know each other’s game. Anything you know about each other helps going into the game.
You were saying you went professional last year; did you find it easier getting first team opportunities?
I never really got a chance under Kenny Black, and then I left when we got relegated and felt it was kind of my year to step up to the first team but Kenny never offered me a contract. I was just going to go to one of my mates (Under 21) teams but then Jimmy Boyle phoned me and asked me to come back in. It came out of nothing really.
Will you be hoping someone will eventually make a move for you like Tony Watt’s move last year?
I hear a lot of people talking, but you can’t let it get to you. I’ve just got to keep playing and keep your head above water, keep being consistent, and as a striker keep scoring goals. If you let it get to you you’ll just go down and down. Obviously I want to go full-time; somebody is lying if they say they don’t want to. A full-time club would be the next step.
When you are playing up front, does it help having someone more experience alongside you?
Yeah, at the start of the season it was Holmes who helped me a lot. Then Boyle was getting in and he works hard as well, keeps me talking and gives me a few tips because he’s been around longer than I have.
You won the Irn-Bru Ginger Boot award last month (something Tony Watt didn’t even do); will it be the first of many?
I’d like to think so. Folk are always saying “How come clubs haven’t come in for you because you’ve scored 12/13 goals and Tony only scored 3?” but you forget that Tony is still younger than me, he can still play at 19s level. Hopefully more goals will come for me!
Have you got a favourite goal you’ve scored so far?
It’s hard to think of them all! Probably not; but if I had to choose then maybe the goal against Stenhousemuir, or the left-footed half-volley against Stirling in the cup when we won 5-0.
Interview by Douglas Barrie