A new feature we will be bringing to the BAJFC website is ‘An Interview With…’, a light hearted small insight to who the BAJFC players, management and committee are. We start off this feature focusing first on defender Jamie McCunnie. Read below what Jamie had to say when he sat down with our website admin…
So, Jamie, it’s been 17 years since you started playing senior football with Dundee United back in the day, what’s your most memorable happy moment that sticks out in your career during that time?
Looking back, there have been a few that as a youngster I probably took for granted at the time: Making my debut as a 17-year-old for Dundee United when we were bottom of the league against a Hibs team that included Sauzee, Latapy, Zitelli & Paatelainen. But my proudest moment was gaining 20 under-21 caps for Scotland and captaining the team for a lot of those games.
Do you, or did you have any game day rituals or superstitions before a match?
I’m not a very superstitious person but when I was younger my Gran used to make me pray before games. I can’t say I do that anymore, but it worked for me back then and maybe I should try it again. These days I always put my left sock and boot on before my right, I think it’s more habit that superstition though.
Who was your toughest opponent be it in the Junior or Senior game and why?
It’s more a tough team than an individual. When I was younger (I think 2004) we were playing against the Spain under-21 team, they had the likes of Iniesta, Fabregas, Sergio Ramos, Santi Cazorla & Navas playing for them. On the night, we lost 3-1 and had a man sent off in the first half.
What are your plans after you finish playing football, as in would you take up coaching or management or leave football altogether?
I’m not really too sure, I enjoy analysing games, observing how different managers/teams set up and play, identifying players strengths and weaknesses. If an opportunity like that came up I’d jump at the chance. I can’t see myself getting into coaching, not in this country anyway. I don’t agree with a lot of the structures put in place for young kids and their development. I think this is a major factor as to why we(Scotland) haven’t qualified for a major championship since France 98. I have been lucky enough to spend time in Iceland during the past 5 years and the facilities there put ours to shame in this country. Because of this, the kids have got a place to train 12 months of the year no matter how the weather is. They have full-size indoor AstroTurf pitches scattered through the country where kids can be coached or just play with their friends. Too often in this country kids are training in freezing conditions, while during the summer months the goal posts are taken away and they have nowhere to play.
What team do you support and any player that you idolized since you first knew about football?
I always look for Dundee United’s results and hope they do well. They gave me an opportunity that other teams didn’t so I really appreciate that and hope to see them climb the table asap.
How did it feel representing your country at Under-21 level?
As I touched on before it was probably my proudest moment in football. It was also an honour to be coached by some good managers, but by far the best was a former World Cup winner in Rainer Bonhof.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned on your footballing journey?
I look back and obviously wish I could go back and change some things, I wish I was brave enough to make some tough decisions rather than the decisions I made.
What would you have done if you never played football?
I attended John Ogilvie high school in Burbank, Hamilton and left after my standard grade exams in 4th year to become a YTS at Tannadice. I did pretty well in my exams and the plan was to be a P.E. teacher or physiotherapist.
Broughty Athletic are you first Junior Football team, how has it been the past couple of years?
I joined after a short spell with Stirling Albion and took 3 months away from football. I fell out of love with the game and needed a break after 14 years of doing the same thing every day/week. Although junior football is completely different, I really enjoy the team spirit we have at the club, we have a great bunch of guys who have become good mates and enjoy each other’s company both at football and in our spare time. I’d also like to say the guys behind the scene do so much work that make the club such a well run club, from the coaching staff, committee and people who give up some spare time on a match day to help out.
Broughty training sessions or Broughty losing a game, what is the worst?
The one thing I’ve always enjoyed about football is my training. We’re fortunate at Broughty to have such good coaches and facilities to train on. We have a terrific blend of experience in Ray Farningham & Tony McAuley and a young manager in Keith Gibson eager to do well. I’m not a great loser and probably a pain in the arse to be around on a Saturday night if things haven’t gone well.
Finally Jamie, tell us a bit more about Jamie McCunnie, the man outside of football?
Away from football I work for a company called Fife Works. We help people that are unemployed get back into work in a variety of ways, sector-based training, employability skills/training and anything else that we can to give our clients a better chance of finding work. More important than work (and football) are my 2 daughters Chloe & Lia (ages 12 & 3) and my partner Karlene. Any free time I have is usually spent watching Chloe horse riding and joining in with whatever Lia feels like getting up to; playing in a park, baking cakes, drawing or taking the dog a walk.