Sunday 7th May 2017

THERE is somebody who Dumbarton fans may wish to thank if five-time award winning keeper Alan Martin is back with the club next season.

But that person hasn’t been born yet.

The Sons goalie capped an outstanding season on a personal level by walking away from the Sons Supporters Trust awards bash on Saturday with five trophies. These included being named top player by fans and team-mates.

The Trust Travel section and Sons View editor Graeme Robertson also named Alan as their favourite, while he also received a special award from the family of the late Gilbert Lawrie.

Now it is all about next season – which is set to include the birth of his child in September.

And for Alan, it is all about getting the right deal to support his family – which could well be with Dumbarton.

There are more than five reasons why fans would welcome him back, and it is a possibility he is keen to make tracks with.

Alan said: “I’m delighted. It is good to get recognised by everybody. We all want the recognition but I never expected five trophies.

“What we have achieved this season is about the team. Staying in the Championship was our main objective and while a result against Falkirk to finish the season would have been great, we have hit our target.

“On a personal level it’s definitely up there with my best seasons. I’ve played every league game since I came in – I’ve played through injury a couple of times as I don’t want to lose my place.

“To be playing every week makes it more enjoyable than sitting on the bench at a higher level. There’s no point training all week if you’re not playing.

“And as I said at the awards night, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more at home with any club than I have at Dumbarton, with the environment created by fans and players.

“It’s no secret that I wanted to sort out my future back in December. I’m more than happy here and I’m delighted that Dumbarton gave me the chance.

“I fully understand that they couldn’t commit as they didn’t know which division they would be in. The club will be discussing next season in the coming days and we will all see what is on the table.

“My girlfriend is pregnant and we have a wee girl already. I have to be able to support and provide for them.

“I’ve had full time offers but I’ve told them I want to wait to see what Dumbarton can offer me.

“One option available to me is to stay part-time and follow a full-time career outside the game. I’m trying to get up that ladder and for the last month I’ve been doing work on railway lines with Darren Barr.

“It’s labour but it’s a start and the money isn’t too bad. Darren and I have only known football our entire careers. Now we are getting three or four shifts a week and after 20 shifts we have the chance to be made permanent.”

As well as his own future, there is another new deal that Alan hopes can be signed at Dumbarton in the coming days.

He added: “Stevie Aitken brought me to the club. He was one of the first people I spoke to after I left Hamilton and said I would come in as number one.

“It’s great to have somebody who will back you the full way. We’ve had our disagreements the same way as you do with everybody, but it doesn’t change our relationship.

“He’s been brilliant with me, keeping me playing as number one all season. For me it would be nice if he was back at the club for the new campaign.”

Andy Galloway

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