Northern Leagues United Pen Pics #16

Livingstone fan, football writer and qualified referee, Grant Russell covers all things Scottish sport for the frankly brilliant STV website as well as contributing regular pearls of wisdom on twitter here.

Positions: I’m at my best (stretching the point) defending, mainly on the right side of defence but also as a centre back. I once had ambitions of being marauding right winger but those are now firmly in check.

Teams played for: Whitburn as a boy, and then Livingston supporters sides Olympique Lyon and FC Livingston GS.

Career highlight so far: There’s been a few. The first is scoring at Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium in a bounce game against the coaching and boardroom staff two years ago.

I’ve been fortunate enough to step out at Almondvale Stadium a few times but the first was a Football Aid match in 2002. Danny McGrain was in the changing rooms beforehand and I was the right back for the day. It was great to get some words of advice from arguably Scotland’s best ever right back.

Another was unleashing an unstoppable 30 yard effort into the top corner after a run from the back against Crystal Palace at WorldNET a few years back. I don’t score too many goals.

Player you’ve modelled your game on: I wanted to be the creative force when I was growing up, and took great inspiration from the Livingston legend that was David Bingham. But when I started to realise my limitations, it was defensive players all the way. although I didn’t have a particular favourite. I was more taken by trying to study how they did things and then trying – and failing – to replicate it.

Metro Radio journalist and happy Manchester City fan – remember when that used to be an oxymoron? – Joe Daunt provides nine-tenths of the football writers’ energy, though stamina’s going to be as big a challenge as Robinson and Chow on the big boys’ pitch. In between kicking a footy about on five-a-side pitches, Joe reads and reports for the Metro news team and is up for a couple of radio awards in the week before he takes to the field at Birtley. You can keep up with all the latest on his twitter account here.

: Occasionally dabble in goal, but I like to run around in midfield.

Teams played for: Bay Rangers FC (as a kid), Boca Tooniers (university team), Bobby Pistachio (5 a side) Metro All Stars 5/7 a side and the Nationals/Broadcast Alliance

Career Highlight: Saving a penalty in a shootout in the Under 12s cup final against Morecambe Boys Club, and then getting Man of the Match for it. The memory keeps me going 12 years on….

Player or team you’ve modelled your game on
: Used to really like Gavin Peacock when I was younger for some unknown reason. In more recent times I guess it’s any player who doesn’t dive (except of course goalkeepers!)

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