SCOTLAND goalkeeper Craig Gordon has backed league reconstruction, believing it will benefit lower and non-league clubs, writes Kenny Paterson.
The former Hearts stopper took in Gala Fairydean’s clash with Eyemouth United last Saturday, with his dad Davie on the coaching staff at Netherdale.
And Gordon reckons ambitious East of Scotland clubs could prosper under the much-criticised 12-12-18 proposals, which would provide a chance for non-league sides to earn promotion to the senior divisions.
Speaking to TheSouthern, Gordon said: “The pyramid system has got to come in. There are clubs outwith the league system with big ambitions and the local area in the Borders could definitely support at least one lower-league club.
“I think it will be a positive thing to allow clubs to have something to aim for, rather than just trying to win your league for the sake of it.
“Striving to try and get into the league would really add an edge to the competitions and it might interest some local people to invest and try and make that happen. I think that has to happen fairly soon in Scottish football and will definitely help the lower and non-league clubs.
“If reconstruction can make the bottom leagues more competitive it could have a knock-on affect on the top leagues as well and keep them on their toes.
“I think it would definitely improve the standard of non-league football and possibly the quality of the top clubs as well.”
Gordon joined Sunderland from Hearts in 2007 for £9million – a record for a British goalkeeper – but left the English club last summer after a succession of knee injuries, and is currently trying to battle back to fitness. If he returns to competitive action, Rangers are reportedly interested in signing the 40-times capped goalie, but Gordon has already started to plan beyond his playing career.
He told us: “I am doing my goalkeeping licence and trying to become qualified as a coach. It is something I can look forward to and get my teeth into.
“Coaching is not something I looked into too closely until my injury. I am still pretty young, having just turned 30, but if I can get some coaching badges then I might give it a shot.
“I have played at Netherdale for Hearts when I was younger. My dad played with Borders teams for a part of his career and has good connections here, and as a result he is helping out at Gala.
“I think for a club of the standing of Gala to have a 3G pitch like this where they can train and play and have very few games called off is fantastic for the club. Hopefully it will stand them in good stead for the future.”
As for the chances of him pulling on the number one jersey at Netherdale, Gordon added: “That is never going to happen I’m afraid.”