Fin­nish­ing school in La­p­land so Gay­field is no prob­lem

● Arc­tic ad­ven­tures of Caley Jags man af­ford cold com­fort

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - SPORT - BY ANDY SKIN­NER

Char­lie Traf­ford has played in some of the harsh­est cli­mates the Fin­nish foot­ball sea­son can pro­duce – mean­ing to­day’s Cham­pi­onship trip to windy Ar­broath car­ries no fear for the Caley This­tle mid­fielder.

Cana­dian in­ter­na­tional Traf­ford spent the first two years of his pro­fes­sional ca­reer in Fin­land with IFK Mariehamn, TPS and KuPS and lat­terly had a spell with La­p­land-based club RoPS prior to his move to Scot­land in 2017.

Traf­ford, who has three caps for his coun­try, reg­u­larly played in tem­per­a­tures well be­low freez­ing dur­ing his Arc­tic stints, which came ei­ther side of a two-year spell in Poland.

That means the 27-yearold has no reser­va­tions about play­ing at Gay­field – a ground renowned for be­ing among Scot­land’s cold­est, stand­ing ex­posed on the An­gus coast­line along from the steep Ar­broath cliffs.

Traf­ford said: “I played in a cou­ple of games that were around mi­nus 10, maybe mi­nus 15. I didn’t think that was pos­si­ble.

“There were a few cold ones. The wind was not as bad there, but when you get to the be­gin­ning or end of the sea­son there are a few cold days.

“You just don’t stop run­ning. You can’t stop – if you stop you freeze. I don’t think you ever get fully used to play­ing in wind though, it’s a hor­ri­ble thing.

“Both teams are play­ing in the same con­di­tions, so it’s some­thing we both need to deal with. There’s no ex­cuses go­ing down there.

“We just need to go down and keep dig­ging out re­sults.”

Traf­ford was a shin­ing light in last Satur­day’s 3-0 loss to Dundee United, with his im­pres­sive dis­play earn­ing the man-of-the­match award.

Caley Jags man­ager John Robert­son has de­manded more con­sis­tency from Traf­ford, who has strug­gled to com­mand a reg­u­lar berth in the In­ver­ness mid­field in his two-and-a-half year spell in the High­lands. But the player feels he needs a run of games to show his best.

He added: “I have had is­sues here where I’ve not had enough runs of games.

“Any­time I have got a few games, I have been able to step up and do my job. We had a good run at the end of last sea­son when I played ev­ery game.

“It’s hard, it’s some­thing peo­ple don’t re­ally see from the out­side when you are in and out of the team.

“Your con­fi­dence is up and down so I have just been work­ing on try­ing to stay level. When­ever I’m called upon, I’m ready.

“As I have done in the last few games, I can come in and once I’m in I’ll just try to keep my spot and do what I can for the team.”

YOU DON’T STOP RUN­NING: Char­lie Traf­ford, left, scores against Al­loa and, right, in ac­tion against Dundee United last week­end

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.