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‘I wanted to prove people wrong’ – McAllister

Jamie McAllister explains it was the passion and determination he had a youngster which helped him achieve his dream as a professional footballer.

McAllister talks about his career in an hour-long chat in the latest episode of the Robins Nest Podcast with host Downsy.

The Glasgow-born left-back started his career in his home country at Queen of the South, before joining the likes of Aberdeen, Livingston and Heart of Midlothian.

He would join Bristol City in 2006, where he spent six years including taking City back to the Championship and within 90 minutes of Premier League football in the 2008 play-off final.

McAllister spent a time coaching in India but retired from playing following a short spell at Exeter City in 2016. He then took up a youth coaching role with the Robins, and later he would become one of Lee Johnson’s assistant head coaches.

“My mum actually showed me a photo from when I was three of four kicking a ball,” McAllister said, recalling his earliest memories of football. “I had a tartan bonnet on and I grew up playing football as we all did then.

“I played every minute of every day. At school, if there was a break or at lunch you’d eat within three minutes and go out and spend the other 57 minutes playing football. I’d come home from school, chuck my bag in and get down the park until your mum called you in for dinner. You’d eat your dinner as quick as you could, get back down the park again and that was us until the lampposts came on, then it was bedtime. Every minute of every day we were playing football. I loved it.”

McAllister felt that while others showed more talent, this pushed him to work hard to ensure he could be at the best level and be able to compete at the best level possible.

He admitted to suffering setbacks but saw these challenges as the motivation to continue pushing himself.

“I didn’t know [I would become professional] but it was my dream,” he continued. ”It came through hard work, dedication and a bit of luck. I was not the most gifted but I pride myself on giving my all and working as hard as I could: trying to be fitter, stronger, learning the game, understand my position as much as I could to give myself the best possible chance.

“I suffered loads of setbacks which were tough but it made me more resilient and want it more. That drove me on to prove people wrong, to kick on and believe I could make it at some level.”

Going through those setbacks presents a crossroads but for McAllister, there was only ever one route.

“It’s difficult but it makes you more resilient. You either give up or keep going and you work harder for it. It made me want it more, and when I got there I wanted to strive to be the best I could with the talent I had, or didn’t have! I wanted to make the most of what I had and get to as high a level as possible.

“It made me more determined to prove people wrong, made me work harder, want it more and appreciate it more. I didn’t want to let it go and I played 20 years as a professional which I loved. To be fair I miss it every day!”

McAllister talks through his playing career, his love of the game, football agents and donning the ‘Tiger King mullet’, plus much more in the latest episode of the Robins Nest.

Listen to episode seven and catch up on previous Robins Nest episodes via the following platforms:

Buzzsprout
Apple Podcasts
Spotify

There is also the option for supporters to watch the podcast via the club’s official YouTube channel.

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