Printer Friendly

It was Grimmer up north; Jack:twitter pests wrote me off when I quit Dons... now I'm training with Berbatov every day I'm out to prove the snipers wrong.

Byline: Scott McDermott Belgium

Jack Grimmer doesn't know what was worse, the personal Twitter abuse or the fact it was coming from guys he used to sit beside in the stands at Pittodrie.

But 18 months after quitting his home–town club Aberdeen to join Premiership big–boys Fulham the 19–year–old defender is still adamant he'll prove his critics wrong.

Grimmer left the Dons in January 2012 to a torrent of online slurs from fans who felt he'd betrayed them.

He admits it was tough to take, having previously paid his season–ticket money at Pittodrie before becoming the club's youngest–ever player at just 16.

But every day at Craven Cottage, where he trains with the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Brede Hangeland, proves to Grimmer he was right to make the switch to London.

And he's convinced that cracking it in England in one of the world's biggest leagues will fully vindicate his decision to turn his back on Scottish football – even though he revealed he wouldn't rule out a return to Pittodrie on loan next season.

Grimmer is in Belgium this week with Ricky Sbragia's Scotland Under–19 squad who are competing for a place at the European Championships in Lithuania this July.

And as he reflected on his acrimonious split from Aberdeen – and progress at Fulham – the centre–back said: "In a way it was nice that I got some stick because it showed the fans cared that I was leaving.

"So I had to take the criticism on the chin. Players know that when you go on Twitter you're opening yourself up to the possibility of abuse.

"No–one activates an account unless you can take a fair bit of stick.

"It did get quite personal. When people say certain things you have to try and take it in your stride. But because it was my home–town team, it was harder to take.

"I'd been one of them when I was younger sitting in the stands with my season–ticket. But I just had to get on with it.

"There were fans who agreed with my decision and others who didn't but supported me anyway, knowing I was just a young player making a tough choice.

"Like everyone who is criticised, I want to go out and try to prove the doubters wrong.

Grimmer is now captain of Fulham's second string and is set to be sent out on loan by gaffer Martin Jol next term to gain experience of first–team football in England.

The former Dons kid believes it will be good for his development and refused to discount coming back to Scotland.

He said: "I wasn't under any illusions when I went down to Fulham that I'd go straight into the first–team.

"It's a slow progression and I feel I'm taking the right route. I'm dying to get back into regular football, where you're playing for points and it's do–or–die stuff.

"I've told the Fulham coaches that I'd prefer to go on loan. I've even spoken about Scotland and we all agreed the SPL is a brilliant league to learn your trade in.

"If the right club came along and everyone was happy, I'd definitely say yes. Aberdeen? I'm not sure. If they wanted me to come back I'd have a big decision to make – it would have to be right for me.

"Obviously I took a lot of stick when I left so they'd have to 'open up' a bit more if I was to go back there."

Grimmer has tested himself against the likes of Joe Cole in the Premiership's reserve league but it's testing himself against the likes of Bulgarian superstar Berbatov, right, that has brought his game on no end.

He admits he's scared to kick the ex–Manchester United striker at training and he's pleased to have fellow Scot Billy McKinlay, below left, at Craven Cottage to look after him.

He said: "I've come up against over–age players, like Joe Cole at Liverpool, in the reserves. It's not until you come up against these guys that you realise what they've got in their locker.

"But I train with Berbatov every day and he slows everything down to his own pace. Even then, I still can't get near him! The experience of playing against guys like him is unmatched.

"I haven't got the guts to kick him as I wouldn't know how he'd take it. I've never got close enough and I don't think I want to be kicking the club's No.9. "I've got great guys teaching me down there like Kit Symons who was a good centre–half himself and is always willing to help.

"Billy is also there to pass on his experience. We're the only Scots and he's a typically Scottish coach. The young guys are fearful of him but I like it as it reminds me of home – all my coaches were like that when I was younger."

Grimmer will be a key man for Sbragia this week as Scotland's Under–19 side go up against Belgium, Georgia and England in the Euro Elite Round for a place at the Finals in Lithuania this July. And he admits he'd love to go back to London knowing he'd qualified for a major tournament at the expense of the Auld Enemy.

He said: "We need to think about ourselves qualifying and if we do it, England won't!

"It would be nice to beat them and go back to Fulham on a high."

CAPTION(S):

JACK OF ALL TRADES Grimmer celebrates scoring for Scotland Under–16s against England, main pic, in action for Aberdeen, right top, and, right bottom, playing for Scotland Under–19s against Armenia
COPYRIGHT 2013 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 26, 2013
Words:983
Previous Article:Luckless Adams axed.
Next Article:I was fan at last cup final. It got so bad dad gave me a nudge after 49 mins and we left; SAYS HIBS STAR KEVIN THOMSON.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters