Inverness Caledonian Thistle forward Shane Sutherland says Elgin City helped him become a professional footballer again
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INVERNESS Caledonian Thistle striker Shane Sutherland says he will always be grateful to how his former club Elgin City helped him become a full time professional again.
Sutherland returns to Borough Briggs tomorrow to face up against his former team in the SPFL Trust Trophy, where he spent seven seasons in four different stints.
The 30-year-old caught the eye of former Caley Thistle manager John Robertson when he scored 16 goals in 26 appearances during the 2019/20 league season and accepted a deal to return to the Caledonian Stadium, seven years after leaving.
Sutherland says Elgin City never stood in his way of returning to professional football and encouraged him to make the move.
He says he owes the League Two club a debt of gratitude for helping him play at a higher level of football again.
“I go back four or five years when I did my cruciate ligament, I was coming out of contract at Elgin at the time,” recalled Sutherland.
“Jim Weir was the manager and he gave me a new two-year deal, knowing I wouldn’t play probably for a large part of the first year. They stuck by me, and I like to think I repaid that with the goals that I scored over the years.
“I owe a lot to Elgin City to get the full time move.
“They said they wouldn’t stand in my way if that opportunity came up again and my contract was running out.
“I spoke to Elgin before I signed to let them know it was going to happen.
“They were delighted for me and wanted to keep me going until the end of the season and push on with the club.
“Obviously Covid struck so we didn’t get to finish that season, but manager Gavin Price was true to his word he wouldn’t hold any grudge if I went full time.
“There are players who are part-time who have got a good job outside of football which ties them down that I didn’t have at that time.
“Inverness was the only team that would make me leave Elgin City as I had my wee boy and I didn’t want to leave the area.
“Everything fell into place.”