Peterhead manager Jim McInally reckons that he has found a double upside of football’s six month shut-down as former Premiership stars Andrew McCarthy and Steven Boyd have returned as different players.
McCarthy, who starred for Thistle in the top flight, endured a miserable 12 month spell after parting company with the Jags and then having an unsuccessful 6 month period at Queen of the South with the 21 year old being injured shortly after moving to the Blue Toon in January.
Boyd, who was tipped for great things at the Accies, left the Lanarkshire side last summer despite having a year of his contract left and headed for Stevenage on trial. After falling to land a deal with the English side the 23-year-old joined East Fife before heading north earlier this year where he scored once in six outings.
Both players have used their enforced spell on the side-lines to good effect with McInally explaining: “I brought Andrew and Steven in as they have played at a good level and have the potential to go back up and play at that good level. However, they had both lost their way. I have seen it with hundreds of players over the years when they leave full time and top-flight football.”
“Some never get over it and drift out of the game.”
“Lockdown has been hard for everyone but from what I have seen in training in terms of football it looks like it has been good for Andrew and Steven. They have thought about their careers and got their heads around where they are and have returned in great shape. They are showing a great desire in training and to me they are showing all the signs of players who want to go forward in their careers again.”
McInally added: “Andrew is over his hip problem and he actually looks like a new player as he has lost a fair amount of weight. He has worked really hard with our fitness coach Stuart Hogg and he knows that he now has a platform to build on.”
“Steven has been flying in training and I had to ask him what he had done to the Steven Boyd that was with us last season. They can go on and have good seasons now and show people what they are all about.”
© Craig Stewart/ Peterhead Football Club