Graeme Goodall interview
23rd January 2012
How did the U19s game go last week?
We won 1-0; it was good considering Stenhousemuir are one of the strongest teams in the league. I think they were 3rd and we were 5th so we’re delighted.
Tell me a bit about the youth team. How is the season going so far?
There are a lot of new players, because a lot of the boys who were in the 19s last season are just too old now. We had a bit of a slow start because we never really played with each other. Now we’re playing really well and I think we’re ten games unbeaten in the league. I think we’re joint 3rd now which is down to that big win streak.
What do you think that success is down to?
Stevie and Mick, the 19s coaches, have been brilliant. They only came in this season as well; they’ve been fantastic. Also Jimmy, Nipper and Paul still help out – just coming in and talking to the boys. It’s good to continue the development and we’ve had some good performances.
Do you think Jimmy/Nipper/Paul talking to the youngsters is important to players’ development?
I think it’s brilliant. When I was first coming through the youth it was them taking the 19s and they were still helping with Kenny Black. They’re there for our benefit and the information we’re being given is really valuable. You can see that with the likes of Donnelly, Bain, Morton and Blockley all breaking through. It’s a good focus on the youth at the club.
How many seasons have you been at Airdrie?
Pro-youth I think it’s two or three. Before that I was at Airdrie Boys Club for a few seasons as well so it feels like I’ve been here for a long time. Basically the Boys Club team moved to the 17s when we became that age group.
What was it like making your first team debut last year?
It was the most nervous I have ever been in my life! Just to get on the bench made me feel nervous, then Jamie Bain got an ankle knock and I seen Jimmy looking round at me. It was unbelievable; I was shaking but I loved it.
You’ve not had many chances this season...
I missed a huge part of the start of the season because I injured my knee in the last pre-season game (Andy Cooper’s testimonial match). It was a long time until I found out the actual problem because I’d damaged so many different parts of my knee: there was a small tear, I had strained my ligaments and I had bruised the top of my tibia which actually took the longest to heal. I was fine, doing running for ages, but whenever I went to kick a ball I just broke down so it was really frustrating because I just wanted to get back playing.
Is recovering from an injury more important when you’re a younger player?
I suppose, because you’re still going through the development and you just want to play as much as you can. That’s all I wanted, that and to get back into training. I was kind of worried about hindering my future chances in the team but the club were faithful with me because they offered me a contract as well. I’m very thankful for that!
Interview by Douglas Barrie.