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Fraser Keast interview

27th November 2011

I know you weren’t playing, but I presume you were at the Gala Fairydean game?

I was, yeah.

What did you make of it as a spectator then?

It was brilliant!  You can only beat what’s in front of you.  I’m surprised Ryan didn’t get any more goals but I think he’s saving his for the league.

Have you ever had a score like that at youth level?

Maybe when I’ve been playing at boys clubs, but not whenever we’ve been playing at U17s or 19s or that.  First time I’ve seen something like that at Airdrie.  Neil Johnston told me it was the highest score that we’ve ever had!

So how long have you been at Airdrie?

Think this is my fourth or fifth season, maybe my fifth.

How has it been coming up through the ranks alongside the other young guys playing in the first team squad now?

It’s just been kind of surreal, because when you start out you’re not really thinking of starting for the first team just because it’s pro youth.  Then eventually you make the step up to 19s and then you get in about the first team and eventually make your debut.  It makes all your dreams come true.

When was your debut?

I made my first team debut under Kenny Black, when I was 16, in the game against St Johnstone (when we lost 4-0 in the last game of the season before relegation play-offs).  Then I played a game the next season – against Dunfermline – and obviously last season and this season.

Do you feel like you’re getting more chances now than then because of a change in managers or because you’re more experienced now?

I think it was hard at the time to put youngsters in the team.  Jimmy has coached me, Giggsy, Jamie and Scott (Sally) since we were about 16 so he knows what we’re all capable of, and as long as he thinks we’re good enough for this level so that’s why he’s playing us.  And it’s showing especially with Jamie and Giggsy.

Although some of those guys have cemented their first team places, would you say you’ve been in and out the team because of injuries or competition for places?

I think it’s both.  Maybe it’s times when I’ve been injured, and Phil (Johnston)’s come in and he’s done brilliant.  So obviously there is competition for places but at the end of the day it couldn’t happen to a better guy.  Phil’s one of my best mates in the team too.  Competition’s good – it makes you want to strive further and play better.  And I know Phil, when he’s playing, he’ll be thinking he has to keep playing because if he slips then he’ll be out the team and if I start playing well I’ll be back in.  So I’ve just got to wait for my chance again.

Would you say he’s the main guy you go to for advice?

Everyone kind of gives me advice, but it starts with Lovers obviously because he’s captain.  Then it’s like Lils, Homer and even people like Jamie and Ryan because they’ve played far more games than me so they’re more experienced and can pass things down to me too.  It’s just getting that variety between youth and experience.

Obviously you’ll hope to get as many appearances as them?

I hope to make it my own, but as I say Phil’s playing great just now so I have to wait for my chance and hopefully grab it.

Interview by Douglas Barrie

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