LEE MILLER has confessed he expects a ‘strange feeling’ as he prepares to make his Livingston debut in the Scottish Cup against his beloved Falkirk on Tuesday evening.
The striker only secured his release from the Bairns last week after becoming increasingly frustrated at finding himself frozen out of Paul Hartley’s much-changed first-team plans.
With Morton and Dumbarton amongst the clubs credited with an interest in the 34-year-old, the lure of an 18-month contract at Livingston ensured the Lions won the race for his signature on Friday.
And the Scotland cap admits it is sod’s law that his first outing for his new club will come against the one he has just left and the one where he started his career before going on to play more than 160 times in six seasons over two spells.
Given that loyal service, during which he netted over 50 goals, Miller should escape the wrath of the Falkirk fans but he insists he is more ready for the reception he will get from the stands than the experience of facing the colleagues he has only just left behind.
He told @CCP_sport: “It’s mad, football works in mysterious ways, I’ll tell you.
“I was always going to eventually come up against my old side, but for it to be my first game is crazy.
“It will be a strange feeling. Whether I’m on the bench or whether I’m playing, it won’t matter, it will still be strange.
“I’ve still got a great relationship with the players there and everybody knows how I feel about the club.
“I want to thank every Falkirk fan and the staff there, the people behind the scenes who don’t get the credit they deserve. There’s a fantastic group there and I’ll always have fond memories of the club.
“I’ve been there for years and loved every minute of it, so it’s going to be a strange feeling playing against them.
“I’ve been booed off the park a few times in my career – in fact, I’ve been booed on to the park a few times!
“So, I’m big enough and ugly enough to deal with that if it comes.
“But I’m looking forward to it, to just being involved. It’s what a footballer wants to do, to train all week for a game on a Saturday or a Tuesday or whenever it is.”
Miller expected to increasingly concentrate on his future coaching career at the end of the deal he had at Falkirk that was due to expire at the end of the season.
However, after Livingston’s longer contract offer, the former Aberdeen and Dundee United marksman is thrilled to now have the chance to prolong his playing career by at least another year.
And he has nothing but praise for Almondvale manager David Hopkin for the way he helped to sell the West Lothian club to him.
Miller added: “I was flattered by the interest I had. The way things happened at Falkirk it worked out pretty quickly that I was going to be available.
“I took a few phone calls and spoke with a few clubs, but everything about Livingston spoke volumes for themselves, and it is reflected in where they are in the league, to be honest.
“They’re doing things properly, they’re looking after themselves, they’re a right good team and have a good bond as well.
“I spoke to the manager and everything he said was positive and I was delighted to get it done and over the line.
“Football is a crazy industry, and the number of things that can change in months, weeks, days even, is crazy.
“You can set yourself up and think ‘this is what’s going to happen at the end of the season’ and it doesn’t, it totally transforms.
“You’ve just got to look after yourself and your family, and I’m happy to keep playing for as long as I can and delighted it will be with Livingston.”