BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
FALKIRK star Tom Taiwo reckons snobbery towards Scottish football is the only reason clubs higher up the English ladder are not clamouring to snap up Craig Sibbald.
The 22-year-old is currently out of contract and is attracting interest from League Two outfit Luton Town, spending last week training with the Hatters at their pre-season camp in Slovenia.
The prospect of Sibbald – with more than 200 appearances under his belt, as well as experience of fraught playoffs and a Scottish Cup final – moving to the fourth tier of English football has raised a few eyebrows.
Taiwo, who is no stranger to the lower leagues south of the border after turning out for Port Vale and Carlisle, reckons that boils down to how potential suitors perceive the standard of the SPFL.
He said: “I think there is a bit of snobbery down south about football in Scotland and then, when players do go down and do well, they are shocked by how well they fit in.
“Will Vaulks is a good example, going from Falkirk to Rotherham, he was probably their best player last season.
“Because of that, sometimes you need to drop a level or two below where you should be to prove yourself to people in England. It is more about the platform Luton could offer.”
Nevertheless, Taiwo does not envision Sibbald spending much time on the bottom rung of the English Football League, should he decide to join the Kenilworth Road men.
He continued: “Sibbs has worked really hard in the gym on his strength and physicality and I don’t know if people realise how rarely he gets knocked off the ball.
“I can count on one hand the amount of times he gets robbed, because of his mix of strength and close-control.
“So I think he would fit in fine down there and I wouldn’t imagine he would be at League Two level for long. Quality never goes unnoticed.”
Falkirk, who will be due £250,000 for the player if he joins another club in the UK, have tabled an extension to Sibbald and Taiwo has urged him to make sure his destination is ideal before deciding to end his 15-year allegiance with the Bairns.
Taiwo added: “He really does love his football here, we’ve seen the best of him, so if it isn’t absolutely the perfect move for Sibbs then I believe he will stay – and I hope he does.”