Raith skipper turned student for role in Stark’s Park office

Raith Rovers captain Jason Thomson is working in the club office as part of his university course. Pic: George McLuskie
Raith Rovers captain Jason Thomson is working in the club office as part of his university course. Pic: George McLuskie
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Raith Rovers captain Jason Thomson is combining making tackles on the pitch with making tea in the club office thanks to his second life as a student.

Thomson took up an option through the PFA last year to start a three-and-a-half year sports management BA degree, run by the University College of Northern Denmark.

Raith Rovers captain Jason Thomson with Judith Miller, Lynn Lamont and Eric Drysdale in the Stark's Park office. Pic: George McLuskie

Raith Rovers captain Jason Thomson with Judith Miller, Lynn Lamont and Eric Drysdale in the Stark's Park office. Pic: George McLuskie

The course work is all completed online, and part of his second year of studies required Thomson to find a work experience placement.

“What better place to do it than Raith Rovers?,” Thomson explained. “Most of the boys on the course are doing theirs at the PFA, but with it being through in Glasgow, that didn’t really make sense for me.

“I spoke to Eric Drysdale, he was keen for me to come in, and I’ve enjoyed seeing things from a different point of view.

“It’s certainly been an eye opener getting to know that day-to-day running of the business, and all the things that need to be done to basically help the club survive.”

For the past few months, Thomson has been combining training and games with shifts in the Stark’s Park office, working alongside chief executive Drysdale and the rest of the staff.

“Apart from making Eric’s cups of tea every day, it’s been great,” Thomson added.

“I’ve been learning how the business side of things work. I left school at 15 and have never been in a business my whole life so it’s been good to get an idea of what Lynn and the rest of the girls do.

“I’ve been working towards a project assignment at the club focusing on the sponsorship and investment side of things.

“I wrote letters and emails to fans who never renewed their season tickets to try to encourage them to come to Stark’s.

“Three or four of them have purchased season tickets since that letter went out - even if we just got one it was all worthwhile.”

Thomson has also been given a unique insight into the challenges of balancing a successful team on the park within tight budget constraints.

“It’s been an eye-opener,” he said. “I’m away asking Eric for bonuses and all sorts of money and a wee bit of realisation comes in that there’s not a money tree that the club can keep taking money from. This money needs to come from somewhere.”

Thomson believes his stint in the office will only strengthen his bond with a club he has served since 2012.

“I’ve loved my time at the club and hopefully there’s many more years to come,” he said.

“You never know, at the end of my playing career I might still be working at Raith if there’a job there for me!

“It’s a wee while away, but that’s what the qualification is hopefully for.

“I’ve not made millions of pounds so I’ll need to get a job at some point after football, wherever that may be.”