BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
ROBBIE McINTYRE insists he departed a club ‘in flames’ when he walked away from Rangers in 2012.
However, the Edinburgh City new-boy has revealed how Ibrox defender Lee Wallace helped to re-ignite his career.
McIntyre, 24, was a highly-rated teenager with the Gers when they plunged into financial crisis six years ago and was among a swathe of senior stars and young prospects who were forced to look elsewhere for employment.
The Scotland under-17 internationalist has opened up on the aura of fear and uncertainty in Govan at that time and, while McIntyre landed a move to Huddersfield, many players fell out of the game never to return.
He said: “I remember Rangers was a very strange place to be. Near the end of the season, you’d be coming in every day, walking past players leaving – and you’d never see them again.
“The place was up in flames at that time.
“From an academy player’s point of view, you didn’t really know what was going on.
“You tried to avoid reading the papers and stuff. I was kind of just playing for myself and trying to do all I could. I knew the club was in a lot of trouble.
“There were a few young boys who had it tough – I obviously had close friends there – and I’m not sure where everyone went, but the situation certainly didn’t help.
“I think if things were better financially maybe more would have got contracts and better opportunities there, but that’s life and that’s football.”
McIntyre describes the two years with the Terriers as the best of his career, with the move to Yorkshire forcing him to grow up on and off the pitch. However, the untimely death of his father in 2014 saw him return north of the border.
Signing with Edinburgh amateurs Tynecastle FC, where Rangers and Scotland ace Wallace is a coach, saw him gradually rediscover a love of the game and – last week – earn a switch back to the league football with Edinburgh City.
McIntyre added: “Lee [Wallace] a great guy and a great coach as well. He’ll do well on the management side of thing.
Although I used to see him around at Rangers, I didn’t really know him well – but I got to know him during the three years at Tynecastle and he is a top man.
“The set up was really good – he was very professional in the way he did things and I think it’s got him going. It’s a humble start to something that could be great for Lee.
“Stevie Vinter and his brother Ross were great as well. They really understood that when there were times when I was a bit down, they took that into consideration and allowed me time off if I needed it. That really helped me get to where I am today.”