BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Ryan McCord has confessed to loving his time at Alloa Athletic, hailing the Wasps as the best part-time club in Scotland. However, the midfielder insists he is quickly developing the same affinity for Raith Rovers as he prepares to face his old club today.
The 26-year-old spent four years with Alloa, where he won back-to-back promotions, but left in the summer to return to the full-time football he enjoyed at the start of his career with boyhood heroes Dundee United.
The former Scotland under-19 internationalist was not alone in leaving the Wasps over the close-season, with a major turnover of players ensuring many of McCord’s old team-mates have also moved on.
The midfielder is now relishing with Raith the kind of camaraderie he enjoyed at Alloa and is hopeful of a happy return to his old stomping ground.
He said: “I had the best time I’ve had there, I loved it at Alloa. It’s probably one of the best, if not the best, part-time clubs in Scotland.
“The chairman, the managers, the boys, everything was great there and I’ll enjoy going back. There’s still a few faces that I know there and I know it will be a tough game as usual, but I’m looking forward to it.
“There’s been quite a few changes from last season but I think most of the boys just wanted a new challenge because they had been at the club that long.
“There are a lot of new faces but that’s the same with every team and they’re doing all right.
“Hopefully they do well, but hopefully not on Saturday.”
McCord put on hold plans to go to university to give full-time football another shot and is loving being back in the thick of the game day-in, day-out.
He reckons he is still striving for the kind of consistency he would want in his game and acknowledges the stiff competition for places he has in central midfield following the arrivals of Iain Davidson and Scott Robertson since the season kicked off.
However, whilst he seeks improvements to his own game, the Dundee-born play-maker confesses things could scarcely be going any better for Rovers, who enter the second quarter of fixtures sitting proudly in second spot in the table.
He added: “I think we’ve exceeded expectations at Raith this season, but it’s kind of the same team spirit we had at Alloa, it’s the same sort of feeling.
“I’ve been lucky in that respect. I know most of the boys from having played against them and there’s a few Dundee boys as well.
“We’ve gelled pretty well and, it might have been by the odd goal, but we are scraping wins and that’s what you need to do in this league.
“Hopefully we can keep it up and I think we’ll do all right.
“This quarter’s harder because we’ve got more away games this time round but if we could get maybe another 15 points that would great.”