Q: I believe you’ve been at Maryhill before. Tell me about that time?
Gavin Naismith: I trained with Maryhill during my last year at 21’s and came up for pre season but it didn’t work out. At that time Maryhill had an excellent team and Kevin O’Neil was the manager.
Q: Has most of your career been in amateur football. What teams, and why didn’t you step up to junior before now?
GN: When I left Maryhill I worked with a couple of guys that I knew were decent players and all played with Arthurlie Utd so I went along there to keep myself playing but quickly realised they were a really good team and at that time, one of the best amateur teams in the country so I ended up really enjoying it and stayed there for over 12 years.
Q: Were you happy to sign for Maryhill initially?
GN: I wasn’t sure what I was going to do until Kell (Alan Kelly) gave me a call telling me he had taken the job at Lochburn and asked me to come in. At that time he was trying to pull a team together in just six weeks as the start of the league season was rapidly approaching! I agreed to come up for a few sessions and really enjoyed it!
Q: How long did it take you to adapt to junior football?
GN: I honestly don’t think there is a huge gulf between amateur and junior. In fact some of the teams at the top end of the amateur game would do well in junior football and have a lot of really talented players, so it was easy to adapt.
Q: What are the main differences between junior and amateur football?
GN: The one big difference that I found was the commitment levels of the players; showing up for training regularly and working hard.
Q: Are you enjoying it at Lochburn?
GN: Yes, it’s been really good. We have had good and bad days and can’t shy away from that but its a really good squad of boys with a lot of ability.
Q: You are a big part of Maryhill FC now. Do you feel part of the club?
GN: Yes, but I still think things could be better. In my time here over the last two seasons I don’t think we have done enough as a club to get players, committee and fans working together! We have had one event in the club in two years which I think we are totally under utilising.
Q: What do you like about being a Maryhill player?
GN: The best thing as I said above is the boys in the changing room, a lot of ability and most of them are still really young so a lot to look forward to as a club if we can keep most of them.
Q: What has been your best moments at the club so far?
GN: I think for me there were a few stand out games last year, for example Shotts away, Perthshire away, Blantyre Vics away (common theme here) but would probably say the Shotts game. They were flying and looking for promotion and we played outstanding to give us a massive three points, which went a long way to us avoiding relegation.
Q: And your most disappointing?
GN: I think the most disappointing thing in my time here is the manner in which Kell and Kev left. From a players point of view, I think we let them down big time and lost a couple of games that we should have been performing better in.
Q: Is it a frustration for you not being able to play football at the moment?
GN: I’m going demented not being able to do anything but there are obviously a lot bigger things going on right now and it looks like this season might be over, which is disappointing!
Q: How are you keeping fit?
GN: With the wee man’s nursery shutting down, and all the self isolation measures in place, it’s been hard to find much time. I’ve challenged the wee man to some sprints in the garden! I won’t tell you who won.
Q: What are your hopes for your time at Maryhill?
GN: I’m getting on a bit (34 now) although I would be hopeful of playing for a few years yet, at least as long as I can keep myself in some sort of shape, and hopefully that can be at Maryhill. As I’ve said before, we have some really good young players and with a few additions could challenge next year if we are still in this division. I have also been keeping an eye on the west of Scotland league chat so that would be interesting to see how that would work! Either way Maryhill will have a good team in the future if all of the young boys stick together.
There has been a lot of change this season with Kell leaving, Gerry coming in to help out and then Ross being appointed as manager! With that has come a lot of player changes. Here’s hoping we can get a good run at things once we get back to normal and get a good run of games together.
Originally posted to twitter on 27/3/20