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A ball in the nuts kickstarted my career - the Matty Allan story

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Matty Allan started his career at the age of nine, joining Ferry Athletic with his friends. His potential shone early on being the top goal scorer for the team and captain he was showing to be a promising young player. Soon, his team mates were starting to be scouted from other teams and Matty was worried a team wouldn’t come in for him. “It was disheartening seeing my team mates being picked up. I was starting to think I wouldn’t get scouted." Eventually, Alan Gallazzi came along. Alan contacted Matty’s dad and arranged a trial. “I remember coming in from school and, and my mum was so happy.”

Matty’s commitment and dedication to become a better player landed him a place in the Raith Rovers team. But Raith Rovers was obviously a big change. “It was good, although there was a lot of traveling - going through to Kirkcaldy. There were only a few guys from Dundee there as well."

Nonetheless, Matty thrived with the team and became a better player. Matty was moved back to centre half because of his height and adapted to the position well, becoming captain of the team.

But, after 4 years and making it to the Under 16’s team Matty was released. “It’s devastating, being there for so long and putting in so much effort, then being told you aren’t good enough to do what you want to do. It’s horrible. But at the end of the day football is about opinions, and Dundee disagreed.”

It wasn’t long before he found another team. Alan Gallazzi contacted Dundee and arranged for Matty to go to a training session. Matty was signed after his first trial game against Clyde. “I wasn’t expecting a lot of game time, but someone got hit in the nuts so I went on.”

Matty fitted into the Dundee side well, and settled in fine. “It’s weird going to a new team as people are hesitant about you if you are going to be competing for their position. But the guys were all welcoming and great to be around. The manager said he has never seen someone fit in so naturally.”

So how is it playing full time?

It’s good, I didn’t like school so it’s a lot better. Now I can say I have a job doing something I love and always have wanted to do. Football is the only thing I have always wanted to do.

How have you developed as a player since joining Dundee? 

I have improved a lot, the coaches have helped me a lot and my confidence has been boosted. Confidence is key, at the end of my days with Raith Rovers I wasn’t getting much game time and it affected me. Dundee was a fresh start so I started playing better. 

What has been your favourite experience at Dundee? 

Signing, it was a great feeling. 

Who is your favourite player?

Zidane, he has everything. Brilliant, touch, can use both feet, unbelievable finish. I also liked his arrogance.

What was your favourite moment in football?

When Zidane scored that volley in the Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen. I was in disbelief when I first saw it. His technique was perfect, beautiful contact. Right into the top bin.

Matty then showed me his phone's wallpaper, which was Zidane in that very moment, mid volley. 

What is your most memorable match?

Probably my first match, Dundee United at Tannadice on my 10th birthday. Aberdeen were 2-0 but United came back to win 3-2.

If you could have dinner with any four footballers, who would they be?

I’d say Beckham, Pique, Zidane and Messi.

Michael Colville | YFS East Region Journalist
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