Paul Lovering interview
25th March 2012
Are there any special players you’ve played with or against?
Played with yeah, a lot of players come and go. Obviously [Owen] Coyle was probably the best finisher I’ve ever had the privilege of playing with. He was excellent in front of goal and his finishing was second to none.
[Alan] Gow was another one that was a great player and you’ve got more over the last couple of years like young Tony Watt who was a raw talent coming through and did really well for himself moving to Celtic and then there’s Gary Mackay-Steven moving to Dundee United.
In the team just now you’ve got Ryan Donnelly who’s doing well for himself just now and I’m sure he’ll have a bright future as well.
As you say you’ve seen a lot of players come and go. What has it been like working with each of the managers?
Every manager’s different and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with good managers right through my career. Airdrie has been no different.
Sandy [Stewart] brought me to the club and he was a fantastic manager. I enjoyed my time under him as well and it shows how good he is that he and Coyle went to Bolton. [Kenny] Black came back after his time away at Leicester etc; I enjoyed working under him too and it showed the quality that he has now being at Motherwell and being involved with Scotland.
Jimmy came through and has always been there. He’s been here right from the start working with the youths and he’s done a good job bringing through guys like Tony Watt, Giggsy and other players like Mackay-Stevens coming through when no-one’s wanting to take a chance on them – Jimmy sees something and gives them a platform to play on.
With a run of ex-managers do you think it will be you one day?
I wouldn’t rule that out, I’m always very keen with being the Captain for young guys to approach me on and off the park, being a role model type. It’s something I’d definitely be interested in, going down that side of things. I want to play as long as I can because you can coach as long as you can.
You’re obviously a very passionate player. Where does that come from?
I just think that’s in me. People are different on the park I suppose, and they take things different, but I think a winning mentality is important. I’m very competitive in everything I do no matter what challenges it brings and I always want to succeed and I don’t think I can hide that. Sometimes I can come across a bit raw but it’s the will to win. I know that I can look back and know that I did okay in my career and the thing people know is what they see is what they get. I’m not going to hide and I’ll always give 100% every Saturday. I don’t think settling for second best is good enough.
How long do you think you’ll keep playing?
Obviously I’m at the age now where my career’s coming to an end and I don’t know whether I’m at Airdrie next year or I decide to play on with somebody else or drop to Junior level. You’ve got to keep playing as long as you can, even if it’s playing 5-a-sides with your mates but I think football’s a passion that I’ve got and has always been part of my life. It’s important you can keep with it, whether it’s coaching or managing or watching until you pass away! But you can only keep playing as long as your body lets you. Once I realise that I can’t do a job at whatever level and call it a day then I’ll do that; but I’ll wait and see when that comes.
Interview by Douglas Barrie.