Interview with Forfar Athletic’s Marc McCallum

Marc McCallum was elated to pick up three awards in the Forfar Athletic end of season presentation on Saturday and admits it’s the first time he’s won anything.

The 25 year old goalkeeper was named the Supporters’ Player of the Year, Away Supporters’ Player of the Year as well as the Players’ Player of the Year following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Queen’s Park.

McCallum couldn’t hide his delight after winning the awards and praised the side’s change in fortunes after the appointment of Jim Weir in October.

“I’m happy to pick up the awards, it was funny I was laughing with the boys at each of the awards, it’s been a change of fortunes since the new manager came in. Obviously we’ve picked up a few points and I’ve helped out where I can trying to keep the ball out of the net.”

“On a personal level it’s been a good season so it’s nice to win the awards, I’ve never won anything before and they’ve all come at once so I’m pretty chuffed to be fair.”

Forfar have gained just three points this season against Queen’s Park with three draws and a defeat and the keeper feels the side tired easily on Saturday, adding it’s been a regular occurrence against the Spiders this season.

“When we go 1-0 up, we look good, we played some good stuff and looked like we had no pressure on us because there is none. I think we tired really quickly, it’s been a thing against Queen’s Park this season, we’ve just not played that well against them at times.”

The season will end this Saturday with a trip to Airdrieonians; the Loons are currently on 35 points with manager Jim Weir setting a target of 37 previously. McCallum hopes they can end the season on a high for themselves and the supporters that will travel down to New Broomfield.

“The gaffer’s wanting 37 points, so a win to end the season would be great considering the position we were in and a win would give us a bit of momentum going into next season as well. It’s tough because there is nothing to play for but we will treat it like every other game and hope to end the season on a high.”

With League One potentially being an all part time league including all four Angus clubs, McCallum is eager to help the Loons get into the top half of the league.

“It’s going to be a very interesting league next year, you could potentially have twelve derbies so it will be so competitive next season and it will be good for the supporters. Obviously four teams in the one league hasn’t happened for years so it will be interesting.”

“It might be an all part time league so the opportunity is there to maybe win the league but we want to get ourselves up in the top half and enjoy the derbies and occasions.”

McCallum signed a deal until 2020 in October last year and he reckons it was a no brainer to extend his stay at his hometown club where he admits he is enjoying his football for the first time in a few years.

“When the gaffer asked the question, I spoke to my family and that, it’s the first time I’ve actually enjoyed my football for years. I thought why do a lot of players move and bounce around clubs and I don’t want to be like that just now.”

“They offered me a long term deal back in October and that doesn’t happen very often at part time level. When you know a club and a manager want you, you take it with both hands and it’s made me settle down, enjoy my football and concentrate on my job.”

Albion Rovers 0 Forfar Athletic 1 (League One) 7th April 2018

On a wet and dull afternoon in Coatbridge, Forfar Athletic gave themselves a great chance of survival in League One as a late winner gave them all three points against Albion Rovers.

The game was lacking a cutting edge until the 91st minute when sub Josh Peters netted from 15 yards out.

Jim Weir made just one change from the defeat to Stranraer seven days prior, Mark Millar returning to replace Kevin McNaughton.

Murray Mackintosh almost put the Loons ahead just 27 seconds in as he chased down an attempted clearance; he cut inside before curling the effort into the arms of Daniel Potts.

In the sixth minute Forfar came close again as Dylan Easton’s corner found the head of Eddie Malone but Matthew Aitken couldn’t fire the loose ball through the sea of yellow shirts.

Three minutes later Mackintosh cleared a Conor Scullion header off the line from a Scott McLean corner.

Mark Millar fires over from the edge of the box for Forfar before Michael Travis nodded high above the bar in the 13th minute.

Jim Weir was forced into an early sub as Malone limped off to be replaced by Andrew Munro.

Rovers’ Scott McLaughlin saw his weak free kick easily smothered by Marc McCallum while at the other end Easton and Dale Hilson both wasted good opportunities as they failed to find the target.

The Loons could have been ahead four minutes after the break when a low cross found Aitken but he sliced his effort before Mackintosh’s shot was held by Potts.

Shortly after the hour mark Easton tried to break the deadlock from 35 yards, sending his free kick agonisingly over the bar.

Easton had another chance in the 69th minute as the weather worsened, cutting inside from the left wing but he couldn’t beat the first man with his effort and the loose ball was eventually cleared.

With less than fifteen minutes remaining Jamie Bain sent a cross into the box and sub Greg Hurst connected with it only to see his shot blocked.

Hurst was denied again by Potts with a weak low effort as the game edged closed to the end.

With it looking like it would end goalless, Josh Peters popped up with another late winner after netting the fourth in a seven goal thriller at Cliftonhill in November.

A counter attack in the first minute of injury time saw Dale Hilson break with the ball; he played Peters in and after getting it under control he stroked the ball past Potts to the delight of the squad, board and travelling supporters.

The result pushes the Loons seven points clear of both Rovers and Queen’s Park with three games remaining and survival is definitely in their own hands.

Albion Rovers: Daniel Potts, Alan Reid, Scott McLaughlin, Jason Marr, Ross Perry, Graeme Holmes, Scott McLean, Craig McLeish (Michael McMullin 82), Sean Higgins (Ryan Watters 50), Conor Scullion (Mikey Hopkins 55), Joao Victoria

Subs not used: Daniel Baur, John Guthrie, Lloyd Fallon, Jamie Gallagher

Forfar Athletic: Marc McCallum, Jamie Bain, Darren Whyte, Eddie Malone (Andrew Munro 20), Michael Travis, Mark Millar, Murray Mackintosh, Russell Dingwall, Dale Hilson, Dylan Easton (Josh Peters 83), Matthew Aitken (Greg Hurst 65)

Subs not used: Ross MacIver, Kevin McNaughton, Dean Brotherston, Grant Adam