After helping Ayr United win promotion from Ladbrokes League 1 last season, the prolific Alan Trouten is back at Brechin City and ready to try and repeat the feat with the club where he scored 18 goals in 2014-15.
Ladbrokes News caught up with the Glebe Park favourite to discuss Brechin’s new boys, banter with opposition fans and the chance of Darren Dods’ men ‘doing a Leicester’.
Ladbrokes News: You’ve enjoyed perhaps the best football of your career at Glebe Park. How pleased are you to be back at Brechin City and working with Darren Dods instead of playing against him?
Alan Trouten: I’m delighted to be back at Brechin. I was here for three years [from 2012-2015], and I certainly played the best football of my career, and really found some consistency – netting 53 goals over the course of those three seasons.
I loved my first stint at Glebe Park, so when I got the call this summer from Darren, it was an easy decision to come back. This is a club where you’re valued as a person and a player, and it’s such an enjoyable place to be at.
Hopefully I can repay the faith the club have put in me by bringing me back here.
LN: How do you think Darren is looking for you to play – and for this Brechin side overall?
AT: I’ll probably be up front by myself quite a bit, but I’m fine with that!
Darren’s rebuilt the squad fantastically well because there were only a handful of players here when he arrived [in June 2015], but you can see how his vision has gradually come together, with those eight wins in the last ten games of last season to keep us in Ladbrokes League 1.
He had a good system in those games – and there was a big focus on making City a more solid side. He’s brought in some more new faces this season, so that system might change, but he’s very good tactically and we as players need to adapt to the system the gaffer chooses for each game.
LN: You played 31 times for Ayr United last season, helping the Honest Men win promotion to the Ladbrokes Championship. How much do you think that experience will help you as a player?
AT: It’s always good to be part of a successful team. I went to Ayr to win things, and we managed to win promotion in my first season there, and that’s the third time in my career I’ve been promoted through the play-offs.
Every time you win promotion, it boosts your experience of getting up through the divisions, and hopefully that’s something I can pass onto some of the other boys here at Brechin.
LN: There have been a flurry of new arrivals at City this summer – including yourself of course. How impressed have you been so far with the likes of Ally Love, Ross Caldwell and Dougie Hill?
AT: Dougie’s a hugely experienced player, and someone I’ve faced quite a few times. He’s obviously had a good upbringing in the game – he reads the play very well, and you need someone like that in the side.
Ross Caldwell is a terrific player. He’s got a lot of quality, and came through the Hibs academy, and he scored for them in the Edinburgh Derby at Tynecastle. Not a lot of players can say they’ve done that!
He has every attribute you need as a striker. He’s a big strong boy and a super finisher, so hopefully the gaffer will be able to get the best out of him.
As for Ally, he was brilliant last year for Albion Rovers, and scored 14 goals for them, so hopefully he can repeat the feat and help Brechin get some success this season!
LN: City had a brilliant end to last season, winning eight of the last 10 games in Ladbrokes League 1, to escape the relegation battle and finish in seventh spot. Do you feel the side can continue that good form and challenge at the top end of the table this season?
AT: Definitely. Going on that run towards the end of the season was a great achievement, and those players did it when the pressure was on – which bodes well if we’re challenging at the top end this time around.
This side has real momentum right now and we’ll be hoping all the new boys can contribute to that. You look at Leicester – if they can do it at their level, then Brechin can too! Once you’ve finished a season well, it’s all about building on that in the next campaign.
It’s obviously a big ask to win the title this season. Livingston have come down and they’re a full-time side, and the likes of Alloa are in the league too, but we have some very good players and our aim is to be at the top come the end of the season!
LN: One side you always seem to find the net against is Stenhousemuir. They’re your opponents on opening day this season. Which are the other fixtures you’re really looking forward to? I’d assume the first meeting with your old club Airdrie in September?
AT: Airdrie’s one I always look out for. I’ve been back there with a few different teams, but one thing that never changes is the fact I always get a bit of stick from their fans! But I take it as a compliment. [*Laughs*] If they never say anything to you, then you’re probably not a good player!
But to be honest, I’m just looking forward to getting started, whoever we’re playing. I can’t wait for the season to get going, and battling for the chance to be up the top of the table.
LN: And finally, what was it like to step out for that first pre-season game against Aberdeen in front of the Glebe Park crowd. They’re obviously a passionate fanbase, and you’ve always been a real fans’ favourite at Brechin?
AT: We have a great fanbase at Brechin. The fans are very involved with the club, and there’s a real community spirit around the team. We get brilliant support home and away, and there are some very passionate folk following the side.
I had a bit of banter with them last year when City played Ayr, but it was all in good fun. They gave me a good welcome when I came out against Aberdeen, and I want to make sure that my performances are deserving of that support.
It’s all getting going now with the League Cup underway, and then the League 1 campaign starting, so hopefully I can give our supporters plenty to cheer about this season.
Brechin City are 22/1 to win next season’s Ladbrokes League 1 title, but their immediate focus will be on Saturday’s League Cup clash at Elgin City, where the Glebe Park outfit are 23/20 to taste victory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing