Friday 13th January 2017
STUART CARSWELL could have been the envy of quite a few Scotsmen during the summer.
He witnessed first hand the celebrations of Iceland’s Euro 2016 campaign which, of course, included knocking England out.
And not only that – he got to extend his football CV with a spell at Keflavik.
But he always knew he was coming home – and he’s glad it’s with Dumbarton.
The midfielder signed for Sons last week, having spent last season battling against them with St Mirren.
After six months in Iceland, he’s ready for a new challenge, having learned a lot from his time abroad.
He said: “I enjoyed my time in Iceland and I’m glad I went there, but Scotland is where I want to be playing.
“I was only there for a few months, but I’m a bit of a home bird. The longer you are away from home, the more you miss it. The door was always open for me to return home and I’m glad to have the opportunity.
“Dumbarton will be a good challenge for me and once I heard Stevie Aitken was interested I jumped at the chance.
“I arrived in Iceland just after they lost to France in the Euro 2016 quarter final. But I still got to experience the party afterwards, including the players’ homecoming.
“I saw all the flags waving and the fans cheering them, and realised what a big tournament it was for them.
“You could say their league is a similar standard to the Championship. There are not many players there, but there are some really good ones among them.
“As a whole I would say the Championship is better, but there are players in Iceland who could play in the Premiership over here. It’s just your luck.”
Due to no international clearance, Stuart had to sit in the stand and watch Sons’ 2-1 defeat to Morton at Cappielow last Saturday.
He’s now raring to go at home to league leaders Hibernian tomorrow, with his sights set high on a club and personal level during his time at Dumbarton.
And after the way Sons’ clashes with St Mirren went last season, there’s one man who he’s happy to have on his side.
He added: “I liked what I saw of the team against Morton. The penalty was a freak decision and the other goal was an unlucky own goal. There were a lot of positives for us to take.
“I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow if all goes well. I’ll just have to see what the manager decides as the boys did well last week. He might not want to change too much.
“My aim for the rest of the season is just to get back playing again on a regular basis. Hopefully I can help Dumbarton pick up a few wins as the league looks like it will be really tight.
“There are teams down there who shouldn’t be there, but we didn’t deserve to lose to Morton, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t aim to be up there with them.
“Garry Fleming scored a few screamers against St Mirren when I was with them, so I wouldn’t mind if he did that when I’m his team-mate!
“But every game is a big one, and we’re looking ahead of us instead of behind.”