BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Gordon Donaldson has joked that he is Edinburgh City’s answer to Steven Gerrard as he aims to mark twenty years at the club with a historic promotion.
The marauding left-back, still only 25 years old, began his affiliation with the Meadowbank men by joining kids’ classes at the age of five.
He has since risen through the ranks, playing for every one of City’s youth sides, before establishing himself as a first-team stalwart.
Donaldson is just 180 minutes away from capping two decades with the club in spectacular style by winning promotion through the SPFL playoffs.
“I started so far back that I can hardly remember my first day at the club,” he said. “I’m the sort of Steven Gerrard figure of Edinburgh City, I would say. That probably won’t catch on with the boys in the dressing room – but that’s what I’ll call myself!
“I’ve played for Edinburgh City through every age group. It’s a brilliant club to play for and they are always willing to give youth a chance.
“I was part of the under-19s team back in 2009 and there are six players from that side playing for us, going right through the ranks.
“That would make it even more special to win promotion with this group. I have been here so long and have such bond with the club, that it would be an amazing feeling. We’re really determined to get the job done.
“When I first came into the senior side the Lowland League didn’t even exist. We were playing in the East of Scotland League and often struggling. To see how far we’ve come is incredible.
“To win promotion with any team would be great, but to win in with this club and this group of boys would be something else.”
Donaldson has no intention of playing down the importance of the tie with East Stirlingshire, insisting Gary Jardine’s side will embrace “the biggest game in their history”.
“We have had an attitude since the start of last season that we are going to win every game,” insisted Donaldson. “Two Lowland League titles shows that is working for us. Hopefully that carries on.
“There will be a lot of pressure on East Stirling and they will probably be favourites, but we have confidence and belief in ourselves.
“It’s a massive game for Edinburgh City, the biggest in the club’s history. Rather that feeling that as a pressure, we’re going to embrace that. It is a wonderful opportunity.”
The prize of affording Edinburgh a third club in the senior ranks first the first time since Meadowbank Thistle became Livingston in 1995 is a further carrot for local lad Donaldson, a Hearts supporter from Costorphine.
And he reckons joining the Jambos and Hibernian in the SPFL would see the club go from strength to strength.
”If we managed to get into League Two then I think you would see a spike in attendances,” Donaldson added. “At the Cove Rangers game last weekend there were more than 800 fans. The interest is there, the potential is there.
“I think people in Edinburgh would love to see us come up. We would become a really attractive option for players as well, because so many of them travel from Edinburgh to play for other SPFL teams.
“If they see Edinburgh City in there, they might be tempted to join the club. It’s an exciting time. Fingers crossed we can get a positive result.”