Marc Laird has picked up the Ladbrokes League 2 Player of the Month award at the end of only his second month as an Edinburgh City player.
Despite growing up in the Scottish capital, the 30-year-old midfielder spent the majority of his career in England before signing for City in a surprise move at the start of October.
He enjoyed spells at Manchester City, Millwall, Tranmere and a host of other clubs in the lower reaches of English football.
So it’s no surprise he has wasted no time impressing in Scotland’s bottom tier.
Laird spoke of his delight at winning the award and explained how his move to the Ladbrokes SPFL new boys came about.
In an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes News, he said: “It’s great to be recognised so soon at the club.
“It was circumstances that got me here. I’m an Edinburgh boy, now based in the city and I made the decision in the summer after leaving Yeovil.
“I had a couple of offers in English Non League, but I felt it was the right time to come home and try something new.
“I spoke to Gary Jardine about using the facilities and training – he was really helpful and said I was welcome. I’ve known Gary a long time through my brother.
“Then he asked if I would be interested in playing. At the time I had no other offers in Scotland so I thought I’ve got nothing to lose.
“I’m still ambitious and still want to play at the highest level, but I wanted to give it a go and hopefully I can impress in the time I’m signed with Edinburgh City.”
Laird – a boyhood Hearts fan – still has the ambition of playing in Scotland’s top tier.
But he insists the move from full-time to part-time football has forced him to think about life after football.
Laird added: “I’ve still got that drive to play at a high level.
“At the time I felt I had to come home. I’ve been in England for a long time and I just wanted a fresh challenge.
“The football is a bit different. It’s about second balls, quick regains, but there are some really great players.
“We played Clyde and they had a lot of good players. We played Arbroath the other day and Bobby Linn looked really good.
“It’s been really enjoyable. It’s just a different environment to what I’m used to playing.
“It’s got me thinking about life after football in five or six years.
“I want to play at a good age as I look after myself, do things right before and after training, eat the right things so I’m ready to go if selected.
“I’m still young, but it’s made me think about when I do eventually retire.”
Laird and co. are 6/4 to beat Stirling Albion at home this weekend and give themselves more breathing space.
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