Highland Rugby Club co-captain Callum Carson proud to pass 150 first team games for Canal Park outfit
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Highland Rugby Club co-captain Callum Carson recently played his 150th first team game for the club.
The number eight has been involved with the senior side for the last 10 years, but he has been associated with Highland practically since birth.
The son of head coach Dave, some of Callum's earliest memories are of going down to Canal Park to watch rugby, or running around with a ball in his hand.
Going from that to a long-established part of the first 15, leading the side as they work towards promotion to the Premiership, is no small accomplishment.
“I grew up at the club watching my dad when he was the coach first time round," Carson said.
“I’ve been involved in the club since I was three years old basically, and I went to watch the first team when I was a wee boy, so it’s pretty cool to play 150 games for the first team.
“I am proud of that. The club means a lot to me and my family – obviously dad has been involved for years and grew up there.
“To be able to captain the club is really special, and to do it alongside Scotty (Fraser), who has been my best pal since we were three or four years old, makes it a bit more special.
"We’ve got a really tight-knit group, which is cool.”
Such was the family obsession with rugby, Carson says family get-togethers are often full of analysis of matches.
There is no tension between father and son despite the player-coach dynamic though, with Callum enjoying working so closely with his dad.
“It’s good – I probably get a bit more scrutiny than other players at times if I get home and we’re going over the game," he explained.
“I really enjoy having him as a coach, we have a really good relationship and we get on really well, so it has been good fun.
“He has coached us since mini and micro rugby in Primary One all the way through, so I’ve never really known anything different. I love the fact that he’s our coach.
“I think my mum, my sister and my girlfriend get a wee bit fed up of the rugby chat at family events!
“They love it really, but I’m sure at times they just start chatting about something else and ignoring us.”
Despite seeing the club come a long way on his way to passing the 150 landmark, Carson has no intention of stepping away any time soon.
In fact, he is determined to do all he can to help Highland into the top tier of Scottish club rugby – even if it might not happen this season.
“We have obviously stumbled a wee bit, losing a couple of games in-a-row, which has probably ended our promotion bid this year with Ayr being unbeaten," Carson added.
“I’d love to take the club to the Premiership at some point.
“Whether that happens before I finish playing, I don’t know. If not, I’m sure it will happen afterwards. I’m not thinking about hanging up the boots, I’m just struggling with a few injuries that will probably force me to stop eventually.
“We have loads of young guys, so the club is only going in a promising direction. I’m confident the club will get to the Premiership at some point.”