Thom­son top of the class at new club Ton

Evening Times - - SPORT - By GRAEME McGARRY

ROBERT THOM­SON has thanked Mor­ton for al­low­ing him to con­tinue work­ing to­wards his de­gree af­ter mak­ing the step back up to full-time foot­ball with the Cappielow club this sum­mer.

The for­mer Dum­bar­ton for­ward had been jug­gling part-time foot­ball with Brechin and the Sons with his uni­ver­sity course since his re­lease from Dun­fermline in 2013.

Hav­ing been used to full-time foot­ball since join­ing Dundee United as a kid, that was a body blow, but he re­grouped and was en­joy­ing the bal­ance be­tween his stud­ies and star­ring for Ste­vie Aitken’s side last sea­son.

That’s why the de­ci­sion to go back full-time at this stage of his life wasn’t as straight­for­ward as it might ap­pear, but with Mor­ton al­low­ing him to con­tinue the fi­nal year of his stud­ies, he has de­cided to take the plunge.

And now that he has ad­justed back to a full-time train­ing pro­gramme, he is hop­ing to cap off a suc­cess­ful year with a great sea­son for his club be­fore grad­u­at­ing next sum­mer.

“The last time I was full-time was three-anda-half years ago, so since then I’ve just been train­ing twice a week at night,” Thom­son told SportTimes.

“Even get­ting up in the morn­ing and train­ing ev­ery day is tak­ing a wee bit of get­ting used to, but it’s been en­joy­able, and I’m back into the swing of things now.

“I made two ap­pear­ances for Dundee United back then, but I was un­der no il­lu­sions. When Peter Hous­ton was the man­ager I didn’t do too well com­ing up to the end of my con­tract, so I was think­ing in my head that I was leav­ing any­way.

“Then at Christ­mas Jackie Mc­Na­mara came in, and he gave me a chance. I felt as if I had done well and that things were mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

“I made my two ap­pear­ances two weeks on the bounce, then the fol­low­ing week I was told I was be­ing let go.

“It was hard to take, es­pe­cially as I had been there from the age of 11. I think things have worked out for the bet­ter now though.

“I thought I was ca­pa­ble of go­ing back full-time, but be­cause I was at uni­ver­sity it was some­thing that never re­ally crossed my mind. I wouldn’t have given up my de­gree to have gone back full-time.

“I’m do­ing fire risk en­gi­neer­ing, so the thought was to play part-time and de­cide whether I wanted to try to make that step back to full-time or to con­tinue with that as a ca­reer.”

Thom­son got 11 goals for Dum­bar­ton last sea­son, mak­ing him con­fi­dent that he can help Mor­ton repli­cate last sea­son’s suc­cess once they get some of their in­jured reg­u­lars back in the side.

And he is hop­ing that they can put a patchy Bet­fred Cup cam­paign so far be­hind them by beat­ing Ed­in­burgh City to­day to qual­ify for the next stage.

“I know I can score goals and do well at this level,” he said.

“It’s not went ex­actly to plan so far for us, but we’ve not had a set­tled team. There are a lot of in­juries and a lot of new play­ers, and we’re still try­ing to come to terms with how the man­ager wants us to play.”

Rob­bie Thom­son is study­ing a fire risk en­gi­neer­ing de­gree

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