Jordyn Sheerin could have easily sat back and won himself a medal with Kelty Hearts this term – but, the attacker gave up his chance of silverware with the East of Scotland League champions, plus the chance to win promotion to the Lowland League, to try and stop Cowdenbeath from dropping out of the SPFL completely. The forward spoke to jordanburtfootball.com this week ahead of a massive afternoon in Fife.
Sheerin began this season at Kelty Hearts in the East of Scotland League.
“Kelty came in and bought me from Berwick. When they came in for me, I got asked if I wanted to go and after speaking with Kelty, it was too good a deal to turn down at the time. The club’s ambitions are massive, that came across clearly to me when I spoke with the manager [Thomas Courts] and I wanted to be apart of a team who went from junior football and into senior football. It was a challenge I couldn’t knock back.
I tore my lateral meniscus in my knee so I had to go for an operation; I hadn’t played football for 6 months: that had a massive say in how things went for me this term as I missed the whole of pre-season and I wasn’t fit again until 3 months into this campaign. I worked hard behind the scenes to make sure I came back in as fit a state as was possible. Obviously, I am naturally a bigger lad so I found that quite hard; when you are beating teams 14 or 15-0, you can’t really chap on the gaffer’s door and say “why am I not playing?” as the strikers were sometimes scoring 4 or 5 goals within a game – that is something I found quite difficult.”
Jordyn then moved back up into the SPFL structure with Cowdenbeath after Gary Bollan had replaced Billy Brown as manager of the Fife club.
“It came as a bit of a surprise to me; I wasn’t fully fit or match sharp, due to the injuries, so, when the move came up and the challenge – once more – arose of trying to help another club, then, it was set to be a great move for me. If I could go to Cowdenbeath and play games, as well as help the club stay up in the SPFL, then, it’d be fantastic. I have also played with Cowden’s assistant manager [Mark Fotheringham] at Livingston: I knew what he was like so that helped me when I was considering coming on board.
To be fair, when I went to Kelty, I really enjoyed it: the club are great, the boys are brilliant, but, I honestly did miss senior football as well. Alongside with the chance to go out and play games again, it was a no-brainer for me. I knew Kelty did, and they still do, have players who can not only progress in that league [East of Scotland] but also in higher divisions too. It wasn’t a case of me feeling bad in any way as I knew they were more than capable and it allowed me the chance to get out, play matches and see if I can meet the challenge of helping out Cowdenbeath.”
The striker has played every minute of every game since he joined the Central Park side.
“It has been really good personally to have managed to play so much in a short period of time. I have really enjoyed my time at Cowdenbeath so far and staying up would put the cherry on top – hopefully we can secure that on Saturday. I think any player will openly admit that, when you are winning by such big margins [such as Kelty were], it is hard to motivate yourself fully for every matches. Sometimes, by the time you come on the park as a substitute, the job could already be done and some guys are already de-motivated and just want the final whistle, so, to play against teams who are quite similar in terms of standard and level, where one goal could be the difference, everyone is up for it and I thrive on that, to be honest; I would rather play in a match where you know you are going to need to battle and fight than into a match where you know it is going to be easy and you are going to win.
The club has taken a fall from grace, in a way: they have come from the Championship and that has maybe kick started a bit of a lull; from what I have seen since I have came in, the gaffer and the coaching staff have had everyone right up for it. They have us playing well, everyone knows their jobs and there is an excitement around the boys right now, especially in training this week. We can’t wait for Saturday, that is all everyone is focused on.”
Cowden were to draw 0-0 with Cove last weekend in the first-leg of the SPFL Ladbrokes League Two Play-Off Final.
“Credit to everyone involved with Cowdenbeath, as we done things right – we travelled up on the Friday night last weekend, and that professionalism allowed us to do everything in power to be as good as we could be. It allowed us a better chance in the match on Saturday [compared to travelling up on the morning of the match], which could only be a benefit considering what Cove are like. We were given talks on how we thought they were going to play, their danger men and things like that. We went into the match knowing a lot about them: there was no way we were going to underestimate them.
Spartans went up there and got beat 4-0 and that makes you think as Spartans aren’t a bad side… a 0-0 on the face of it, is a good result to take home, but, in the second-half, we were nowhere near where we should be in terms of how we played. All the players and management team will admit that, we weren’t as good as we could and should have been. I wouldn’t say we left disappointed, especially as we were going away with that type of result after playing that bad, but, we are certainly hoping for a better performance and result this weekend.”
Cowdenbeath were in this situation last season but were victorious against East Kilbride following a penalty shoot-out.
“I think there is a pressure on us, but, I feel you need to have pressure to perform. You need to have a bit of nervousness heading into a match: if you don’t have that, you really shouldn’t be playing, as, I think you need that to kick on and to play your best. We know what we need to do for the club, as, a club of this size should not be in the situation that it currently is. We want to rectify that – if we win on Saturday then, in a way, this whole season will be put to the back burners as, if we stay up, the club can hopefully push on from there. I think all the boys are eagerly looking forward to it as we all want to show we are better than what the whole season seems to suggest; we are nervous, but, it is a good nervous.
At this stage in the season, with what is at stake, performance matters. But, if you told me right now, that we were going to win 2-0 and not play well, I would take that any day of the week. We want the victory. We want to do well and play well, but, what we want most is the win. I am not sure I would go as far as an achievement as such, but, I I would look back on it and be pleased that I could help the club out if we were to stay up. To be honest though, we had enough matches – I know it is maybe cutting it a bit fine, but, if we won all the games we had left since I arrived, we would likely not be in the play-offs. I can’t say being in the play-offs and winning them to keep the club in the SPFL is any kind of achievement, but, I would definitely be happy with the overall outcome.
We are playing on Saturday, but, it isn’t for the players or the coaching staff…it is for the people who support the club and watch us week-to-week. It is for the people who go to work every week and then decide to spend their hard-earned money by watching us on a Saturday. It is for the people who go unnoticed, behind the scenes; the volunteers, the kitman and folk like them. We aren’t playing for us, we are playing for them. We are playing for the town and for the club. If we can get a good number of fans into Central Park at the weekend to support us, then I am positive we can get the win we need.”