JORDAN ALLAN has played just over 240 minutes in his four appearances for Derry City in what has been a ‘frustrating’ season. Indeed, the Scottish striker could be forgiven for letting his lack of game-time affect his mood.
He accepts that he’s somewhat down the pecking order when it comes to leading the line for the ‘Candy Stripes’ given the goalscoring exploits of experienced striker, Rory Patterson, and the in-form, Nathan Boyle. But he’s certainly not prepared to give up on his Derry dream.
Patterson has netted eight goals already this campaign while Boyle has reignited his City career since returning from his loan spell at Finn Harps and has bagged an impressive six strikes in all competitions.
Ex-Dundee United man, Allan, arrived at Brandywell as an unknown quantity for many City fans and was handed his debut in the opening game against Harps on a dodgy surface at Ballybofey before being replaced after a luckless 60 minutes.
His chances were limited after that and he has been restricted to a start in the EA Sports Cup victory over Sligo Rovers and two appearances from the bench against Bray Wanderers and Wexford Youths last weekend.
The 20 year-old Glaswegian looked lively when he came on for the final 10 minutes of that 1-0 win over Wexford as a replacement for Patterson and was denied his elusive first goal by goalkeeper, Graham Doyle, who tipped his volley over the bar.
If you’re going to put your head down and mope about you shouldn’t be in the game. We’re all a really good family here. We all stick together.Jordan Allan
The Scot may have saw his name in lights when he audaciously attempted to chip the Wexford keeper from the halfway line in the closing stages - and he wasn’t far off the mark either.
It’s clear Allan isn’t lacking in the confidence department but he admits that he’s sometimes struggled this season to lift his spirits given his lack of gametime.
And, while he’s unlikely to get the nod for tonight’s top of the table clash with Dundalk, he’ll be ready if called upon.
“Obviously, you want to be playing as often as you can but ‘Skinny’ (Nathan Boyle) and Rory have been playing really well for us and ‘Skinny’ got another goal against Wexford,” he said.
“It has been frustrating. I started against Finn Harps at the start of the season and, then, didn’t get a chance after that.”
Allan’s been plugging away and has notched up an impressive goal tally for the reserves as he continues to bide his time. And he believes he will get another chance to prove his worth for the first team in the coming weeks as City continue to challenge on three fronts.
“I’ve been playing with the reserves and doing well and scored something like 12 goals in 11 games,” he added. “I just need to keep working away and, hopefully, my chances come.
“It would be nice to get a goal to get me started. It might come, it might not but I just have to keep working hard.
“I tried one from the halfway line against Wexford,” he recalled. “I saw the keeper off his line and I tried my luck.
“The other chance I got, the ball sat up nicely for me and I hit it. I would really like to have got a goal but the win is the most important thing.”
Keeping his head up!
Allan has been sharing a house with fellow Scot, Harry Monaghan, and Aaron Barry and says his teammates have been key to keeping his spirits up.
“Skinny (Boyle) and Rory (Patterson) have been scoring prolifically and are pivotal members of the team. And it’s the way I was brought up - my mum and dad have always told me never to give up, no matter how hard it gets.
“If you’re going to put your head down and mope about, you shouldn’t be in the game. We’re all a really good family here. We all stick together.
“There’s always positives from players telling you how well you’re training. You can’t expect the gaffer to put me in when we’re winning or change it on a constant basis. But it’s good to get chances and know that the gaffer trusts me to go on and do a job. I need to get my goal. It’s really tough. I’ve only played four games. Not getting a goal is hard but I’ve had chances and should have took them against Harps, but I won’t dwell on it.
“Harry and Aaron share a house with me and there’s times I’ve been coming in after not playing games and in a totally bad mood but they keep my spirits up and are really good at it.
“Derry is just like Glasgow. Myself and Harry get on great with everyone here. We’re all a family. I don’t clean my dishes very much,” he laughed. “I just leave them and Aaron likes to moan about it.But I’d like to thank everyone in Derry for all their hospitality.”