Bar­row­man in love with game again af­ter trial

Ex­pe­ri­enced striker fi­nally thinks of him­self af­ter help­ing or­gan­ise suc­cess­ful show­case for club­less pros

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - GARY KEOWN

ANDY BAR­ROW­MAN in­sists it is now time to start look­ing for a club for him­self af­ter de­vot­ing his ev­ery wak­ing hour to link­ing up more than 30 job­less pro­fes­sion­als with man­agers who may just be able to res­ur­rect their ca­reers.

The well-trav­elled striker was re­spon­si­ble for ar­rang­ing, in con­junc­tion with PFA Scot­land, a week of coach­ing ses­sions and ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes at Broad­wood Sta­dium in Cum­ber­nauld which cul­mi­nated with a trial match at­tended by a host of scouts and coaches from all lev­els of the se­nior game.

Gary Locke, the Kil­marnock man­ager, ran the rule over the 35 play­ers in ac­tion on Satur­day along with other bosses such as Barry Fer­gu­son of Clyde, Dum­bar­ton’s Ste­vie Aitken, Colin Cameron of Ber­wick Rangers, Cow­den­beath’s Colin Nish, Dar­ren Dods of Brechin City, Dun­fermline Ath­letic’s Allan John­ston and the Dundee United as­sis­tant Dar­ren Jack­son.

Bar­row­man, re­leased by Dun­fermline at the end of the sea­son, ad­mits that he had been feel­ing de­spon­dent over the state of the game and his place within it prior to or­gan­is­ing the pro­ject that pro­vided a stage for the likes of the for­mer Hamil­ton Aca­dem­i­cal midfielder Jon Rout­ledge and Raith Rovers and Dundee stal­wart Iain David­son.

He claims to have emerged from it with a new-found love of the game to the ex­tent that he made a point of ex­press­ing his grat­i­tude to ev­ery foot­baller present be­fore they went their sep­a­rate ways af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle.

“I was there in the same sit­u­a­tion as the play­ers, with­out a club,” said the 30-year-old.

“I must ad­mit that I was a wee bit dis­heart­ened with football when we started. It is a tough game at times, but work­ing with those guys made me re­dis­cover my hunger.

“I hadn’t thought about chuck­ing it, but a new man­ager came in at Dun­fermline with new ideas and I was left scrap­ing around look­ing for another club.

“The lads I worked with, though, have given me that hunger back. I en­joyed ev­ery minute of my time with them and I have told them all that I hope I never see them again, other than on TV play­ing for their new clubs.

“Man­agers com­ing along to the trial game to look at play­ers ac­tu­ally showed a bit of in­ter­est in me.

“It has been a long, hard week with lots of or­gan­i­sa­tion. Now we’ve done our bit to get the other boys a club, I can maybe look at get­ting my­self sorted.”

Bar­row­man is cur­rently study­ing for a busi­ness de­gree and ad­mits that, although open to all of­fers, he would be happy with a part-time con­tract to al­low him to con­tinue plan­ning for the longer term in an in­dus­try that cur­rently of­fers lim­ited se­cu­rity, in Scot­land at least.

“I have had the same kind of un­cer­tainty over the past cou­ple of sea­sons and you are liv­ing year to year,” he said. “I have com­pleted two years of a busi­ness man­age­ment de­gree and have one year left of that.

“I am putting the plans in place for later life and we will see what hap­pens.

“I do the stud­ies online. It is ac­tu­ally a Dan­ish univer­sity that hosts the course and you catch up through we­b­cams and classes that have been filmed.

“There are pro­fes­sional ath­letes from all over the world on the course. It is about the busi­ness side of sport.”

Bar­row­man re­ports that find­ing a job is be­com­ing hard for pro­fes­sional foot­ballers, even those in their late 20s, be­cause of the fi­nan­cial predica­ment fac­ing the sport.

“A lot of full-time teams are ac­tu­ally op­er­at­ing on a part-time bud­get,” he said. “You get to the age of 28 or 30 with fam­i­lies and mort­gages and it is just not sus­tain­able any longer with the money on of­fer.

“I think more and more play­ers will go part-time and work in another job. Many are do­ing it just now.”

BRAINS BE­HIND TRIAL: Stu­art Lovell, DPS Group Di­rec­tor John Green, Mark Wil­son, Fraser Wishart and Andy Bar­row­man

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.