How do Scottish football players find new clubs?

by Ryan Brown

With St. Mirren’s Danny Mullen a notable entry to the Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA) Scotland’s available players list, just how difficult is it for Scottish football players to find a new club?

Former Livingston reserves forward and Celtic academy graduate Scott Hay, is currently without a club and spoke of the hardship after getting released.

He said: “I found it very difficult, I went from playing for Celtic for eight years and playing full time to not having a team at all and having to go back to boys club level.

“I went from playing at Livingston reserves to not even being told about getting kept on, as did nearly the full team and they did nothing to support us not even a courtesy text or phone call nobody went back which I find very poor from an SPFL team.

“I think more could’ve been done and I think I find myself along with a number of other boys missing out on opportunities, you can’t say that a player who was at Celtic for eight years and played full time isn’t good enough for any other team in Scotland even at reserve level.”

Despite Scott’s clear frustration at the lack of support from clubs, he feels support from the PFA is strong but could help players just like him at reserve level more.

Scott added: “The PFA is a good set up but I feel more needs to be done to help younger players move on once released from clubs, they do offer exit trials though which I haven’t attended but I’ve heard they are good.”

The available players list may not be known to many of us but it is a key recruiter for lower league teams as the 21-year-old revealed: “You sign up to become a member of the PFA if you’re at a club and they keep in touch via emails send out to all players regarding being put on the lists in January and summer.

“I think it’s a good way to be recognised for all clubs as it’s easy to access as I myself found myself on it in the summer and a number of lowland league clubs got in touch so I think it’s a good platform for them to reach out to players.”

However, there’s a sad reality for many youngsters in the game with Scott himself no longer playing competitively.

“It was very hard to motivate myself after being released by Celtic and nothing really happening.

“I’ve lost interest and the love to play football after I feel I’ve been let down as do a lot of boys I know I’ve played with but I guess that’s what happens in football,” he said. 

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