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Sean Aims to Hit the Ground Running

Summer signing Sean Higgins is putting himself through his own rigorous pre-season schedule in order to hit the ground running at the start of the 2015-16 campaign.

Speaking to the official website, the sport development student outlined his plans to devote his time off university this summer to getting into the best possible shape for the opening matches, while also explaining why he opted to join Clyde and sharing his expectations for the upcoming season.

The 30-year-old was playing for Cowdenbeath in the SPFL Championship last season and he started by explaining how manager Barry Ferguson, his former team-mate Bob Malcolm and his good friend Scott McLaughlin convinced him to join The Bully Wee. 

He explained: “Last season was disappointing all round at Cowdenbeath. With the team getting relegated, it was one of the toughest in my career. 

“I could have stayed in the Championship again, I had the option to go into a club so that they could have a look at me, but I played with Bob (Malcolm) at Dundee and we have been friends ever since and he asked if I would speak to the gaffer here. Scott McLaughlin was also asking if I would fancy it so I was open minded and said I would speak to him.

“From the first time I met the gaffer, everything was positive. I had already heard that his training was really good from other players and I also just want to enjoy football again. I’ve got a young family and don’t want to travel too far so that was another thing that came into play and overall I just felt that joining Clyde was the right thing to do.”

Higgins has spent the majority of his career in the top two flights of Scottish football, but despite dropping down to the fourth tier, he is determined to make the very most of the move, starting by ensuring he is on top of his game for the start of the season. 

The former Ross County, Dundee and St. Johnstone man continued: “I am off uni just now so I have the time to do extra training and I am trying to give myself the equivalent of a full-time pre-season. 

“We trained on Tuesday night and I was at a spin class earlier in the day. I just want to get myself as fit as possible because I have been full-time for most of my career, so I am looking to train every day until the season starts, if I can. 

“I don’t want to burn myself out but I want to keep myself ticking over because there is no doubt that if you get a good pre-season in you it makes a huge difference.”

Higgins is one of nine new Clyde signings this summer and he believes the professionalism at the club has been a major factor in convincing those players to make the move. 

“The gaffer has worked really hard to make each of the signings,” he said. “He spent a lot of time with me and he did the same with the other boys. 

“Players like Shuggy Murray and Scott McLaughlin have also helped sell the move to a lot of the players by telling us how good the training is and how professional things are and I have seen that already. Compared to some of the other clubs I have been at, the professionalism here is frightening and that is the way it should be. I think when things are as professional as that, as a player you naturally tend to give a bit more back.

“Even things like the protein shakes, the kit being sized for each player, the ice baths after training and of course the training itself. We have only had one night of training but I am already really looking forward to the season ahead.”

Despite the signings and feel good factor surrounding the dressing room, Higgins is well aware that success is not guaranteed and he knows the team have a difficult season ahead: “A lot of people will look at the boys we have signed and fancy Clyde to do well, but I was at Dundee when we signed a lot of players and everyone fancied us but we took a while to gel and ended up falling way short. So it is not a given that we will do well this season, but we are confident that if we have a good pre-season and get off to a good start then we can be successful.”

Higgins’ favoured position is ‘in the hole’, just off a striker, but with a number of attacking options at the club, he knows he is going to need to work hard to earn a place in the team. However, he would not have it any other way as he explained: “There will be great competition for places in the team which really helps everyone. 

“Squads need to be competitive, you need that as if you don’t have it boys can go through the motions if they are guaranteed to play. But if somebody is putting pressure on you and they are on the bench itching to get on, then if you are not producing the goods the gaffer won’t be one to mess about – you’ll be off the pitch and he will be on in your place. It is definitely good to have that competition.”

Higgins concluded by looking forward to the team’s upcoming Highland tour, a chance for him to reacquaint himself with the area where his football career began: “I know the Highlands very well – I was up there for seven years. I have a few friends that play at Brora and I probably know a couple of the Wick boys as well so it will be interesting. 

“It will be great for Clyde and the team in general because there is nothing better than getting away for a few days and getting to know the boys really well. For a part-time team to get away like that, it is a great thing for the gaffer to have organised. Even small things like playing cards on the bus journey will help – a good dressing room can go a long way.”