BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
MARC LAIRD enjoyed an unforgettable apprenticeship with Manchester City, played in front of 60,000 at Wembley and boasts almost 300 appearances in English football.
And the midfield stalwart admits he is relishing the opportunity to pour all of that experience into resurgent Edinburgh City’s survival bid.
Laird, 30, was born in Edinburgh but his promise was swiftly spotted as a youngster and he was whisked down to the City academy.
While he didn’t make the grade at the Etihad, he enjoyed a varied career south of the border, turning out for Southend, Leyton Orient and Yeovil, and spending three years at Millwall, where he played in the 2009 League One playoff final.
Nevertheless, his homecoming has been a happy one since joining the Meadowbank men in September – and he is embracing the opportunity to lead by example on the pitch, as well as striking a balance between work and family.
Laird said: “I played in a play-off final against Scunthorpe and came through at Manchester City so I’ve been lucky enough to have played in some big games and I’ve got plenty of experience from my time in England.
“I’m quite reserved, I’m not a ranter and raver, but hopefully I can bring that experience and do my bit to the help the boys along. I do my talking on the pitch but if anyone wants advice I’m more than happy to give it.
“I could have stayed down south but I wanted to try something different.
“My family are all based in Edinburgh – my mum, dad and brothers – and I’ve been away for so long that it is just fantastic to be back. My wee boy can see his grand-parents most days which is something special again.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here. The boys are a great group and the manager has been brilliant with me.”
However, Laird’s deal with the capital club expires at the end of this month and, having emerged as a key figure in their five-game unbeaten run in the league, it is understood he is being eyed by sides higher up the SPFL pyramid.
He continued: “I’m still ambitious and feel I can perform at a high level. I’m speaking to Edinburgh at the moment but, regardless, I’ve really enjoyed it.”
City’s recent revival saw them claim an award double yesterday, with boss Gary Jardine named manager of the month for November respectively and Laird landing the player gong.
He added: “Confidence has played a massive part in our form, with the boys getting used to this level. It is a new environment and a fresh challenge and I’ve seen the boys grow as the season has gone on.”