Broughty Athletic defender Ryan Blair spoke to the clubs Website Admin team on his whirlwind start to life at the club since his move from amateur football to the juniors back in June. We sat down with Ryan and put some questions to him on his time at the club so far, which has seen him start and finish all seven Super League games this season since his move from NCR Amateurs…
So Ryan, how has it been since you joined the club back in early June?
I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far, the boys and management have been first class with me so that’s helped me settle into the club very well.
How different is the training sessions and matches in the Super League compared to your previous amateur side NCR?
The tempo in matches and training is the real big difference I’ve noticed but also the will to win, even in 5 a-side game at training there have been a few meaty tackles between players! The quality of play is obviously quite a step up too from amateur level, but I’m adjusting well and coming to terms with it all. I must be doing something right as I’m getting selected every week!
What was going through your mind when you first knew Broughty Athletic manager Keith Gibson made enquiries about you?
I was very happy when I heard that a manager from a Super League team in the Juniors was having a look at me and when the time came for that first training session, there were a fair bit of nerves running through me.
Did you take much interest in the Junior game as in keep watch of the scores before you joined the club?
To be honest, I didn’t keep up with the junior game before I started training with Broughty away back in February. I just concentrated on training and playing for NCR and what was happening around us in our league.
What players stand out in your mind at BAJFC and why?
All the boys are class and stand out in different ways, but the experienced ones like Dodge, McCuns, Wints, Tweeds and big Jay stand out the most for me, as their experience helps me and the rest of us during every training session and on a match day.
Who is the most dedicated player during training at BAJFC?
This is a hard one, but I’ll have to go with Jamie McCunnie, he trains as he plays and if your slacking he’s not slow in telling you about it!!!
You’ve started every game in the Super League so far since you joined, did you think that was going to happen or were you contempt just to try and get a place in the squad this season and carrying the water bottles back and forth?
I didn’t think it would go the way it has so far in terms of playing time. Obviously stepping up from the Amateurs to any Junior team would be difficult but joining a top half Super League team, most people were expecting me to be the water boy! Thankfully I’m proving them wrong so far and we have started very, very well in the league.
Your squad mates shout positive and negative criticism to you during the games, do you take any notice or just try to play your own game?
You’ve got to try and take as much on as you can from the guys and the sidelines, but at the same time you can’t lose your concentration in trying to argue back, especially if you’re getting dogs abuse! I take it on the chin, it’s all part of the game and being the young new guy.
Finally Ryan, what are things like at the club, as in behind the scenes, the committee, the management and the media side of the club?
Everything and everyone at Broughty is top quality, and so far, we, as a squad of boys, are repaying the owner, committee and management back by going on the park and getting the positive results we have so far. Our social media side is fantastic too, Twitter and Facebook are buzzing and our website has got to be one of the best out there in the junior game, if not the seniors. It’s great to see photos and your name mentioned in stories week to week, long may it continue…