The man hoping to keep Junior giants Irvine Meadow out today (February 22) in the Scottish Junior Cup, Penicuik Athletic goalkeeper Youssef Bejaoui, answers some questions.
Tell me about your football career?
I started playing club football around 13/14 years old seriously. I was playing for a team through in Grangemouth – Syngenta. We had a great team and got to the Scottish cup final on my first year and Semi Final the following year. After the second year a lot of the players were approached by senior clubs. I went and played a game for Rangers and ripped my cartilage and needed an operation – this kept me out for nine months. For the next few years I played under 19s with Lothian Thistle and eventually moved to Civil Service Strollers and spent three years there. Whitehill Welfare called and asked if I would like to join them and I loved the three years I had there. I was approached by three senior teams but decided to sign with Cowdenbeath. It started off brilliantly at Cowden but after losing my place, I didn’t really get another chance. I moved to Berwick on loan and eventually signed permanently but to be honest I probably made the wrong choice that summer and should have took the step back to EOSL. After playing with a fractured toe and not enjoying my football I asked to leave around Christmas time and decided I didn’t want to play football anymore.
Which team did you enjoy playing with most and why?
Whitehill without doubt. All the boys got on and had a great laugh.
What made you decide to sign for Penicuik?
David McGinley was a major factor that I decided to start playing football again. McGin asked me to come along to support Mark Wilson in training and pre-season games, however due to certain circumstances with Mark Wilson leaving and a good conversation with Meeks I decided sign.
Having joined Penicuik, what do you make of your new teammates?
Crazy!!! Barr loves himself, Michael McDermott acts like a granddad, Dougie is probably the craziest guy I know. There is a good mix in the changing room. The young boys turn up to the games with their hats on back to front and sit next to each other – you would think Blazing Squad – crazy!!!!
What do you personally hope to achieve this year?
Win the league!!
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