New Raith Rovers signing Ryan McCord has revealed that he chose a move to Stark’s Park over a place at university.
McCord has spent the past four years at Alloa Athletic, where he has combined part-time football with life as an engineering student.
After completing a three-year college course, the 26-year-old was offered a chance to continue his studies at university next term.
But after new Raith boss Ray McKinnon came calling, McCord has decided to take a gamble on full-time football.
“I got a phone call from Ray just after he was appointed and we’ve been talking for the past week or two,” McCord told the Press.
“I’ve been at college for the past three years and I got accepted into university this year, so I had to make a decision whether I wanted to go full-time again.
“In the end, I thought I would end up regretting it if I didn’t give full-time football another go.
“Football can be fickle at times – you can be fine one minute then out the door the next, so I want something to fall back on.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work into college so I’ll look into whether I can carry it on part-time.”
While McCord may have career prospects away from football, he is firmly focused.
“I was very keen when Ray said he was interested,” he said,
“He’s been after me for a couple of years, so I finally caved in!
“Ray was a factor in the decision but Raith are also a good club – and they have a grass pitch!
“Alloa’s pitch is not as bad as people make out but it’s definitely going to be different playing on grass most Saturdays.
“I just fancied a change and a new challenge.
“I’ve been at Alloa four years now and done everything I could there.
“It’s a good location for me as well.
“Raith train in Glenrothes and I’m from Dundee, so it’s not that far.
“The chance to get back into full-time football was a big factor as well.”
McCord insisted that he has no regrets about being released from Dundee United aged 22.
“It was a blessing in disguise because I’ve got something behind me now,” he said.
“Alloa was the best four years I’ve had – coming up through the divisions was different class and the core of team has been together.
“I did it the hard way but it’s worked out better in long run.”
McCord admitted he will have to work harder in preseason as he transitions from part-time back to full-time.
“I’m not as fit as I used to be,” he said.
“There are no excuses but, with college and having a wee one, it’s been busy.
“Hopefully, training full-time will help with that.
“My aim is to play as many games as I can and cement a place in the first team.
“That will be hard, because there are a few good midfielder players at the club.
“Kevin Moon has left, so there are big shoes to fill.”