BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Luke Armstrong is determined to prove that the apple did not fall far from the tree as he targets a fruitful spell at Cowdenbeath.
The talented teenager is the son of retired striker Alun Armstrong, who played for the likes of Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town, even finding the net for the Tractor Boys in a 1-0 UEFA Cup win over Italian giants Inter Milan.
Now 40 years of age, Armstrong Sr is under-16s coach at Boro – the club he joined in a £1.6 million deal from Stockport in 1998 – but is still playing a key role in his boy’s career.
He helped manufacture Luke’s move to Central Park following a chat with Blue Brazil boss Colin Nish and the youngster is determined to make the most of his opportunity north of the border.
Armstrong Jr said: “My dad has contacts up here and the gaffer [Nish] heard about my availability and invited me up for a couple of trial games. I really enjoyed it and the gaffer was pleased and made me one of his signings.
“My old man is a massive part of my career. He used to play in the English top league so he has plenty of expertise to pass on and he knows a lot of people involved in the game. Whenever anyone hears that I am looking for a club, they just give him a ring!
“He is constantly looking to give me advice and make me a better player, so he is the man I listen to. As a fellow striker, he is a great coach – but he’s also pretty hard on me. That’s what dad’s are like, I suppose.”
Armstrong, who was highly-regarded as a schoolboy in England, has played for Middlesbrough and Birmingham City at youth level but left St Andrews this summer in search of first-team football.
He added: “I needed to go somewhere and play matches – real games. I want to play at as high a level as I possibly can and I think this is a great opportunity for me to progress.”