Thursday 18th March 2021

THERE may, bizarrely, be something that Dumbarton have the Covid-19 pandemic to thank for.

Not for the two lengthy suspensions of football which have meant almost the combined total of a year out of action.

And definitely not for the need for games to be played behind closed doors.

But if things had been ordinary, Sam Ramsbottom may not have been available to sign.

Deals all through the pandemic have fallen through for the shot-stopper over the last year – in Scotland, England and Germany.

So the chance to sign on the dotted line tonight was an opportunity that the goalie couldn’t afford to pass up.

He could even spend his 25th birthday on April 3 playing against Aberdeen. Should Sons defeat Huntly in Tuesday’s Scottish Cup second round tie, that will be their third round assignment that day.

First it is Forfar Athletic in the return to league action on Saturday, and as a signed player, it’s a day Sam can’t wait for.

Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, Sam said: “I’m buzzing. It’s been a long time coming for myself with everything to do with the pandemic when it’s been difficult to get some things done.

“I had more contracts than I can count fallen through at various clubs, not just in Scotland and England, but in Europe as well, for one reason or another.

“Leagues have been cancelled, I’ve not been able to get visas. But now I know where I will be for the next couple of months.

“I’d been over in Germany and had a deal agreed there, but when I was down to sign, the league was cancelled because of Covid. That was at the start of November when they started the lockdown.

“Then I was training on my own, then with a club in the Conference North. There was talk of a mini-league between the Conference North and South but the idea was knocked on the head by the FA and the National League.

“I’ve seen the schedule the players have got coming up and it’s going to be quite hectic. There’s not going to be much breathing room, but after a couple of months of inaction, it’ll just be good to get head first into games.”

Sam has already been in action in a Sons jersey, as a trialist in Saturday’s friendly match against Stranraer.

He continued: “I really enjoyed it. It was really good to just get back into some action.

“I know Ryan McGeever as he was at Morton on trial at the same time as me, so it was good to be involved with a familiar face.

“The team is in good shape. I did my first training session on Tuesday night and I know how tight it is not only in this league, but in the league above. I still follow the results from there.

“I don’t think there’s much difference. Some teams are full-time in our division but I think the standard is about the same.

“I did five weeks with Falkirk at the start of the season and they were happy enough with me and said there was a deal to be done.

“Then the financial constraints kicked in and it wasn’t possible. They were brilliant with me but it just didn’t happen.

“Now that I am a Dumbarton player, my future is sealed for the rest of the season and hopefully we can kick on from here.”

Andy Galloway

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