Linlithgow Rose striker Tommy Coyne hopes to emulate his Celtic and Ireland superstar dad by playing until his late 30s
Prolific Linlithgow Rose striker Tommy Coyne, 33, hopes to take a leaf out of his superstar father’s book by playing until his late 30s.
Namesake Tommy Snr, who famously starred for many teams including Celtic, Motherwell and Ireland netted over 200 goals in a 20-year senior career which eventually finished at Albion Rovers in 2001.
Tommy Jnr told the Journal and Gazette: "At age 35 (his last year at ’Well) my dad was still a very good player. It is definitely an inspiration for me.
"If you keep yourself in shape, you should be able to play to 36, 37 I think but injuries dictate a lot as well.
"I hope this year I can play my part in the team and also help any young boys. That's a big thing for me as a lot of the older boys helped me through my career.”
Coyne – who works as a joiner in his day job – has remained loyal to Linlithgow since joining way back in July 2009 and he explained why.
"I’ve always known I could have played at a higher level,” he said. “It’s just things dictate what happens in your life.
"Sometimes you’re quite happy doing what you’re doing and I’ve always been happy at Linlithgow. I love the place, it’s a good standard of football, they treat you well.
"Sometimes you can go somewhere and think that the grass is going to be greener but it isn’t.
"I’m very comfortable with my career at Linlithgow and hopefully I’ve still got another couple of years left.
"I definitely fancy us for promotion next year. Before the season finished I think we were third (in the East of Scotland Premier Division). We were gathering a bit of momentum last year.
"We’ve got the basis of a really good squad there. With three or four additions we’ll definitely be up there anyway.”
Coyne is full of praise for current Rose gaffer Brown Ferguson.
The striker added: “I’d better say I get on very well with him!
"He’s been brilliant since he came in. I have played under a few managers at Linlithgow now but he’s very professional.
"I’m obviously getting on a wee bit in my career now and he’s been very honest with me. He’s given me another year next year which I’m very, very happy about.
"I struggled with injuries with my knee last year and he was great with me and I can only really thank him for that.
"The knee issue happened just before the last lockdown. I twisted my knee in a game and it gradually got worse because I couldn’t see a physio for months because obviously you weren’t allowed.
"I’m hopefully over that now. Towards the end of the last lockdown just there I started to play a lot better.
"I played well against Forfar and I was in the team so hopefully I can kick on now when I get back.
"I did my first run the other day and it wasn't very good to be perfectly honest!
"But I’m fine now and hopefully I can repay Brown. I know I can still play if I keep myself in decent shape which is harder with every year that passes.
"It doesn’t get any easier but I’m really missing football. I want to go back because you need a wee bit of routine in your life as well.
"It gives you something to look forward to at the weekend. You work Monday to Friday then a Saturday is when you look forward to playing football, don’t you?
"That’s all I’ve done for the last 20 years so I’m a bit lost without it.”