BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
EDINBURGH CITY goalkeeper Andrew Stobie had to pinch himself when he landed League Two player of the month – because the only award he had previously picked up was for worst trainer.
The City stalwart won the Ladbrokes gong for December after helping his side to four victories, notching three clean sheets along the way for the resurgent capital club.
Despite those dazzling displays, Stobie was in a state of shock when Gary Jardine – who won the manager award for the second successive month – told him he had been selected as the division’s top player for the Festive period.
He told Capital City Press: “It’s a really proud moment for me, although when Gary told me it was a case of ‘are you sure? Why me?’ I hadn’t really thought about the clean sheets – I just wanted points on the board.
“Any of our players could have picked up that award for December, the performances were so good, but I’m happy it was me.
“It’s definitely a new experience for me. I’ve never won an award of note. I finished second in the club’s player of the year award a few seasons back, just behind our captain Dougie Gair, but that’s about as close as I’ve ever been.
“Aside from that, my biggest personal achievement was probably getting the prize for worst trainer – I’ve won that one a few times!”
City’s award double is a fitting reward for their recent surge up the table, having recovered from a run of 17 games without a win at the start of the season to roar into sixth spot in League Two, just four points outside of the promotion playoff places.
The rise is yet another remarkable chapter in the Edinburgh City fairytale, which Stobie has been a key part of – joining the club when they were in the East of Scotland League.
And he believes it is only a matter of time before Jardine’s achievements start to make waves further up the Scottish football food chain.
He continued: “I think he will start to get noticed if he keeps picking up these awards.
“But I think Gary loves Edinburgh City – he was a player, coach then manger here – and he wants to take this club as far as he can. There doesn’t seem to be a ceiling for that, it is staggering how far the City have come.
“He is still young and I’m sure one day he would be worth a punt at a higher level but, for the moment, I think he is just focused on where he can take Edinburgh City – and who knows where that could be.”
However, Stobie is adamant there will be no sense of complacency when they visit Cowdenbeath – the side propping up the SPFL – this afternoon.
He added: “It is crazy how tight this league is. We might only be five points away from the playoffs, but we are only two points ahead of Cowdenbeath. We could be bottom of the league again on Saturday night, so we will stay focused and keep doing the things that have served us well.”