Central defender Martin McNiff believes signing for The Bully Wee on a two-year deal this summer was the perfect move for his career.
McNiff joined Dumbarton when he was just 16, making his first team debut a year later as a 17-year-old. A change of manager at The Rock resulted in a move to Annan Athletic, where he established himself as one of the most capable defenders in League 2 and he is now looking to move back up the leagues with Clyde.
Martin spoke to the official website this evening and explained how his career to date has brought him to Broadwood: “I picked up an injury when I was at Dumbarton and when I came back I wasn’t in Ian Murray’s plans. Jim Chapman had just got the job at Annan, he knew me well and offered me the chance to go there.
“That move was about getting games and enjoying football again but the move to Clyde is under totally different circumstances – this time it is about trying to kick on and develop myself and my career. I’m at a good age for a defender and, although I’m still learning, I think this year I need to push on and start achieving things.
“Straight away when I spoke to the manager he made coming to Clyde an easy decision. He told me everything I was looking for and speaking to him and Bob (Malcolm) for a couple of hours was brilliant – they made it easy for me.
“In terms of developing my career and pushing on, I believe coming to Clyde is the right move for me. We have a good squad and can hopefully achieve something this year and over the next few seasons, if we gel together and play the way we know we can. It’s an exciting time to come here and with the plans the manager has for the club I was delighted to sign a two-year deal.”
After taking part in the early stages of the pre-season schedule and playing in the club’s recent friendlies, the defender feels that he is now ready for Saturday’s Betfred Cup tie against Kilmarnock. He continued: “Training here has been different to what I have been used to. The manager did say it would be hard, but he doesn’t overwork you.
“I’ve done a lot of pre-seasons in the past where it is just long, hard runs but the manager looks at it in a totally different way; although it is still really, really tough. I have really enjoyed it and I think we are all now feeling fit and strong going into the games.
“With every pre-season game we’ve played I’m feeling an improvement in my recovery time and, on the park, small half-yards are feeling different. I think that is down to the training we have been doing here and over in Jersey. We’ve been working really hard to get our sharpness up for the game on Saturday and then for the start of the league season.
“Friendlies are good – they are there for a purpose – but there is nothing like competitive football and all the boys are all buzzing for Saturday.”
Martin concluded with a strong message about his frame of mind for the season ahead:-
“I think the manager will be happy with the squad he has assembled. It is our job now to show him and the fans that he has made the right decisions and to push the club up the league.”