McPake began his professional career when he signed for then Scottish First Division team Livingston in August 2000 as a youth academy player. He did not make his debut for the club until almost 4 years later in April 2004 when Livingston were playing in the SPL, a year later he cemented his place with the club by agreeing to sign a new two year contract.
In January 2006 the Scottish Second Division side Greenock Morton acquired the player on loan, after McPake rejected loan moves to other Division Two sides Gretna and Partick Thistle. He made his debut for Morton against Gretna on January 14 and went on to make 10 appearances for the club, scoring two goals in the process. He played as a striker throughout his entire loan spell at Morton, and his two goals were both in the same game against Alloa Athletic.
In October 2006 Scottish media reported that the player would be moving to English Football League Championship Plymouth Argyle and it was confirmed that he was due to go to the club for a week long trial, Livingston later changed their minds and the trial never materialized. In July 2007, two months after the appointment of manager Mark Proctor, McPake was made the captain of the club. Scottish Premier League outfit St. Mirren had a bid for the player rejected, and were widely expected to make an improved offer.
McPake signed a pre-contract in December 2008 to join Coventry City in the summer of 2009. Coventry and Livingston agreed a fee on February 2, 2009 to complete the transfer immediately. He scored his first goal for the club against Leicester City on 21 March 2010.
Now he answers five questions on his youth career for YFS...
1. Which clubs did you play for in your youth career?
Holytown Colts, Celtic South BC, Coatbridge Amateurs, Livingston pro youth.
2. Who were the best players you played with and against during your youth career?
Mark Molloy at Holytown Colts and my school team who went on to sign for Celtic.
3. Who were your role models as a young player?
4. Who was your favourite coach at youth level?
Worked with lots of good coaches but two who stick out are Tony Taylor and Tony Fitzpatrick.
5. If you had one piece of advice to today’s generation of youth football players, what would it be?
Always train hard and never give up, anything can happen in football.