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Q&A With… Stuart Kettlewell

The Bully Wee’s new signing Stuart Kettlewell became the first person to speak to the official website’s Grant Morton this summer and, as always, it made for a great read…

GM: How does it feel to be a Clyde player?
SK: I’m delighted to be a Clyde player. I’ve always wanted to play full-time football and to be given the opportunity to do it here is fantastic.

Why Clyde?
The big attraction for me was the manager, and also the fact that I live in Cumbernauld. There was interest from Morton and Dunfermline but there seemed to be a lot of ‘coming and going’ with the offers. Whereas here the gaffer made it clear that the offer at Clyde was there and that he really wanted me, which was key.

Being a local lad, have you ever been to Broadwood?
When I was younger I used to come along and watch Clyde on Saturday afternoons. As Clyde is my local club, I’ve watched various games here.

Do you know much about the club?
I know a reasonable amount. Roddy Hunter is a good friend of mine so he told me quite a bit.

Was it a hard decision to leave Queen’s Park?
Not really, no. I loved my time there and we had some success, getting promoted and then staying in the Second Division, but I’d decided that I wanted to play full-time football. Being at Queen’s Park had become a way of life for me and I’ve lots of friends there, but now is the time to come into a new team and try and get success here.

Is playing full-time football a big thing for you?
Full-time football is what I really want. I work in a bank, which isn’t the worst of jobs to have by any means, but I’ve always had the ambition to play full-time and I’m now ready to step up to the challenge.

You were captain at Queen’s Park. Is this something you will be looking to achieve at Clyde?
It was an honour to be captain at Queen’s Park. Coming here, though, there are a lot of players who are more experienced than me, and have been at the club longer, so I’m not expecting it again. I’d be delighted and honoured though if it did happen, but at the moment I’m just working hard to try and be in the starting eleven.

Do you think there are any major differences between the 1st and 2nd divisions?
There’s no doubt that the First Division is of a better standard on the whole, so I think there will be a difference in quality. There are a lot of good young players in this league along with players with a lot of experience, but I think by training every day with the excellent coaches we have I will improve and adapt as a player. Last season at Queen’s Park we played against Airdrie and Ross County, who’re full-time, and put in great performances against Aberdeen and Hibs, so I take confidence from that. I think with a good pre-season I’ll be ready.

Do you think there are a lot of players in the 2nd and 3rd divisions that could make the step up?
There are definitely a lot of guys in the 2nd that could make the step up. One of them is Ricky Waddell, who I played against last season and he’ll be a useful player for us to have. I’m sure time will tell whether we can or not though.

What can the Clyde fans expect from you on the pitch?
At Queen’s Park, my energy was always a big part of my game. I have been described as a box-to-box midfielder and I always give 100%. Billy Stark, who was a huge influence at Queen’s Park, helped me improve the quality and aggression in my game.

Have you met the team yet?
Not as yet. We are going in first thing on Monday morning. I’ve played against some of the guys before, and having Alan Trouten here is good as it always helps to have a familiar face around. Alan is actually my best mate. He’s a tremendous player and will be a great asset to Clyde. He scored 14 goals last season from playing out wide, which is some achievement.

What are your personal aims for the new season?
I want to win every game. When I spoke to the gaffer he said we need to be going into every game looking to win it, which is what I’ll be doing. If you look at what Hamilton did last season, no one predicted that. If we can get a good start to the season then there’s no reason why we can’t do the same. Stranger things have happened.

Are there any games that you are particularly looking forward to?
The Thistle game. Being the derby game I can’t wait for it. Also, one of my best pals, Paul Paton, has just signed for them so it would be great to get one over on him!

Do you have any messages for the fans?
I hope that we can produce good football for you in the new season and it’ll be great to have all your support. It will be much appreciated.