Monday 29th January 2018
TWICE a week, Ian Durrant coaches Tom Walsh, Calum Gallagher and Kyle Hutton in the shadow of Ibrox.
They were three of his players in the youth ranks at Rangers before they left the club. Now all four men are at Dumbarton.
And Ian, who is celebrating a year as assistant to Sons boss Stevie Aitken, is determined to help them get back up the ladder.
The trio have been key players for Dumbarton of late, with Gallagher scoring twice in Tuesday’s 3-2 win at Peterhead in the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round.
And ahead of the continuation of Championship business against Brechin on Saturday, Ian hopes that they and their team-mates can continue to push on.
Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, he said: “They’ve been great and we know what we’re getting from them.
“Kyle has done well for us, Tom gives us a bit more in the final third, and Calum is very adaptable. Hopefully getting two goals against Peterhead gives him a boost.
“I knew what to expect from them and we’re giving them a platform to move back up the ladder again.
“If any player wants to play again at a higher level we won’t stand in their way. We want to help them do well.”
Reflecting on his first year with Dumbarton, Ian admitted to being surprised at just how well the part-time players keep themselves in shape.
But with the club in its sixth season in the Championship, he refuses to accept any views that they are out of their depth.
He added: “I was really surprised when I first came in. You take it for granted in full-time football that players will keep themselves fit.
“But I knew they were all good boys and they work hard to keep themselves fit off the pitch. We only get them for three hours a week and we just ask that for those three hours, they come in and work hard.
“We try to make training as enjoyable as we can, but there are also demands in terms of fitness. We know what we need from the players and they deliver.
“In terms of us being part-time, you always get it rammed down your throat that you are punching above your weight.
“But that counts for nothing. It’s 11 against 11 and at the end of the day, 11 players on their game can beat a superior 11.”