Wuillie Gibson has revealed he left Stranraer this summer after being offered a pay-cut. Speaking to jordanburtfootball.com before Peterhead’s last training session of the week yesterday evening, the winger told us of his next challenge which awaits him, in League Two, with Jim McInally’s newly relegated Peterhead.
Gibson, 32, moved to the Blue Toon this summer having left Stranraer.
“I was fully expecting to stay at Stranraer, to be honest. I had been having contract talks with them since January time about extending my deal there. Due to the position we were in at Stranraer, we left it until the end of the season before getting anything sorted so we knew which league we were going to be in and such like but when they did eventually come to me with an offer, it was a very big pay-cut. I decided to turn that down and look elsewhere. It was just a case of waiting by the phone – and making a few calls myself – before weighing things up and in the end, I decided Peterhead was the best place for me.”
Despite relegation to League Two, Gibson believes the club have a lot of potential in the future.
“Every club can have a bad season and I think this club went through that last season, but, their will to win and to succeed next season is clear for everyone to see. The manager sat down and spoke to me and explained how they want to go straight back up this year; I want to be a part of that and the boys who the gaffer has brought in emphasises that ambition too. I am one of the most experienced boys here but I think the manager has a lot of good young players too. It is about the experienced guys, like myself, to take the pressure off these players and help bring them on as professionals. I think it is important to have that balance and I don’t think it will hinder us in any way.”
The former Crawley and Kilmarnock player has missed a chunk of pre-season but feels, despite that, he has settled in fairly quickly at Balmoor.
“When pre-season started, I then went away on holiday, and I only returned last week, played in a friendly then we played East Fife in the cup last Saturday so I haven’t had much training sessions with the rest of the boys but I have had a lot of clubs throughout my career now and I am quite easy joining in with the rest of the boys. When you have guys like Rory McAllister in the squad who has played and can still play at a much higher level then it is easy to adapt and I hope I can just add something to the team in that regard.”
This is Gibson’s first season in League Two, having also played in the Scottish Premiership, Championship and League One, as well as down south.
“I don’t know what to expect, to be honest. Having played in League One last season and the Championship in seasons prior to that, I know that there isn’t much between those two leagues apart from the obvious teams like Hibs and Dundee United. It is about getting your head down and working hard; if you can win the battle first of all, then ability will come through in the end. I am only guessing here, and may be wrong, but I would suspect League Two will be slightly more physical so we have to win that battle first. I can’t say if we are favourites for the league as I don’t know much about the other sides in this division, to be honest. We have assembled a good squad though – a lot of the boys brought in this summer have experience of higher levels such as myself, David McCracken, Greg Fleming, as well as guys that have played at the top level who have been retained such as Jamie Stevenson, Simon Ferry and Rory McAllister so that is probably why the bookies have placed us as favourites but I cannot really comment on if I think that is right or not until I know more about our opponents.”
Peterhead’s ambition this season is clearly set out by the new winger.
“To win the league – it is as simple as that. A cup run would be fantastic but the main ambition this season has to be to win the league. I think with them having such a bad season last year, that they need to get back up straight away this season. Personal targets, I always set myself 10 goals a season – I like reaching double figures and then trying to better that too. My main job though is to supply goals and that is my first target – if I can help the team reach it’s targets then it’ll be a successful season.”