Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser


Airdrie new boy eyes title after Kelty success


Ambitious Dylan Easton is targeting a League One title challenge with Airdrie next season after joining from Kelty Hearts.

The creative attacker admits that leaving Kelty was the most difficult decision of his career after winning the Lowland League title and claiming promotion to League Two, but he wants another crack at fulltime football.

Airdrie narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championsh­ip last season after losing to Morton in the play-off final.

Diamonds boss Ian Murray has recruited well so far this summer and Easton insists that challengin­g for automatic promotion must be the target.

He said: “The aim is to go and win the league. We don’t want to be settling for the play-offs and the manager has kept the majority of players from last season who got to the final.

“I feel that the squad is improving so I don’t see why we can’t go all the way. It’s going to be tough because there are so many good teams in the league but I’m hoping we can take the club up into the Championsh­ip.”

The former Livingston kid admits the allure of returning to full-time football was a huge motivation behind his decision to join Airdrie.

Easton enjoys coaching at Kelty Hearts star Joe Cardle’s academy and the Diamonds’ flexible training programme allows him the opportunit­y to combine work with playing.

“The system at Airdrie was a huge appeal because it still allows me to do some coaching,” he said.

“I help out Joe at his academy because I’ve become really close with him and I’m settled doing that.

“I sat down to assess my Airdrie contract and it fitted in perfectly with my coaching. It was a nobrainer to be part of that full-time environmen­t again and it allows me to continue coaching too - it’s perfect.

“It was the toughest decision that I’ve made in my football career to leave Kelty.

“It felt like a family at Kelty and I loved every minute of it.”

Airdrie boss Murray previously coached Easton at Dumbarton during his spell as manager during the 2014-15 season.

When the signing was announced, the 40-year-old manager insisted he knew all about the attackers strengths and weaknesses.

Easton was completely honest when assessing his abilities but

he’s improved as a player and as a profession­al since he last worked under the Diamonds boss.

He said: “i’m a very direct footballer. I love to get on the ball, take players on, provide assists and score as many goals as possible.

“The weaknesses are probably more on the running side. I’m a flair player that likes to get fans off their feet and hopefully they get excited watching me. I have switched off at times and get a bit lazy but that was a long time ago at Dumbarton when I was a young boy.

“I’m more experience­d now, I’m much stronger now and I’m the fittest that I’ve ever been in my career.

“Lockdown was the best thing for me because I realised that I’d put on some timber and that makes you lose a couple of yards. I’m going to be really fit now so there are no excuses for me not to hit the ground running.”

Easton joined Premiershi­p side St Johnstone as a highly-regarded 18-year-old in 2013 but the move didn’t work. The 27-year-old concedes that his applicatio­n wasn’t at the required standard but is determined to prove his worth at Airdrie.

Easton added: “i’m very honest about everything. As a young boy, I made mistakes and I didn’t take football as seriously as I should have.

“I’m still pretty young so it was always my ambition to return to full-time football. I wanted to give it one more bash and as soon as I spoke to Ian Murray then it felt right.”

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Airdrie’s Easton at Kelty
Delight Airdrie’s Easton at Kelty

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