Michael Dunlop is an experienced head in the Scottish game, having played for Queen’s Park, Alloa and Stranraer among others, but the 32-year-old defender is loving life at Cliftonhill.
The Wee Rovers man describes the club as sort of fairytale underdog outfit and explains that this all adds to the charm of the Coatbridge side.
Here he tells Ladbrokes News why he loves Albion Rovers…
Why do you love Albion Rovers?
It’s a great club in the sense that historically it’s a small, a sort of underdog club and in the two years I’ve been here we’ve had a lot of success. In the first year we got the quarters of the Scottish Cup, drew with Rangers and got replay at Ibrox, which was a good underdog story. Obviously last year we won the league with was amazing.
What’s the vibe like in the dressing room?
When I was younger I was quite nervous but now I’m nearly 33 years old it’s just like going work on a Monday morning. I really look forward to it as I don’t know how many more years I am going to be able to play. I enjoy it as much as I can because you know it’s not going to last forever.
It’s a good atmosphere and normally you’d delegate someone to look after the tunes. It’s not really me! We mostly have dance music, I don’t listen to it normally but it’s good for when you’re about to go out to play.
Describe the fans and what they mean to the club
We have an average gate of 300 and without these people we wouldn’t have a club. These are the people that pay your wages and long after we will go they will continue to be there.
They play a big part and when the big games come around they play a massive part in getting behind you and that makes a huge difference.
Can you name an Albion Rovers backroom hero?
At various clubs you’ll have kitmen and the tea ladies who you don’t normally see behind the scenes. They are important at any club and they don’t really get the recognition from outside like they do from within.
Our kitman has just left but aside from him Paul Reilly deserves a special mention as he’s a tremendous amount of things behind the scenes. He sadly lost his wife recently but the pair of them and that family couldn’t do enough and they are defiantly the unsung heroes of this club.
What’s the best thing about being a Albion Rovers footballer?
I’m in a privileged position. The wages may not be Premiership level but to get any money for doing something you’d do for free is great. There’s nothing better than the feeling you get running out for your club on a Saturday.