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  • Macdonald upbeat after successful return

    <img class="imgleft" align="left" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/calum.jpg">A delighted Calum Macdonald got his first team comeback for Tain Thistle off to a great start against Alness Athletic last Wednesday, marking the occasion with a goal to help the club to a 2-1 win.<br /><br />And the 31 year old striker is hopeful that there will be more to follow, to add to his storied history with the club.<br /><br />Calum got his start in football in his hometown of Crieff, Perthshire, where he played football at all youth levels throughout school. He got his first break at senior level with Crieff Amateur at the age of sixteen, before moving to Comrie Rovers three years later, where he settled as a striker, having previously played on the left wing.<br /><br /><i>“I played centre midfield, sweeper and even left back at youth level. I loved playing as a striker though, it’s always been my favourite position.”</i><br /><br />Following a spell in Glasgow, Calum moved North to Tain in 2002, when he began attending training for the now defunct Tain St Duthus, then run by Malky Macdonald. Playing a handful of games as a sub throughout the winter, he found more regular action with the town’s summer club, Tain Thistle. Under Gordon Burry, Calum notched 7 goals in his first campaign, with a club who, at the time, were propping up the Ross-shire Welfare league. Indeed, Calum made history, by scoring a hat trick in his debut, against the Rigger on May 25th, 2002.<br /><br /><i>“I didn’t get much playing time in the winter with St Duthus so I went to Tain Thistle in the summer. I remember going along to training with Stuart Ross, while I was working with him in Alness, and the rest is history.“</i><br /><br />Calum continued to set standards in 2004, when he scored an impressive 17 goals under new manager Bill Russell before breaking the season goal scoring record for the club, by netting 20 times in 2005. The following winter, seasoned second XI campaigners Balintore signed Calum for what would become their first league-winning season in fifteen years. However, despite playing in four Welfare cup finals, Calum is yet to win a medal with Tain Thistle.<br /><br />The striker’s recurrent knee problems hampered his consistency in 2006, before he eventually left Tain to work in Norway, despite a brief return in 2007. <br /><br /><i>“I stopped playing because I was having problems with my knee, and the job came up in Norway. It’s a lot better now as I got it repaired last year, after cortisone injections and physio. I have a degenerative condition of some kind in the joint.”</i><br /><br />Now back living in his native Comrie, Calum aims to be available as much as possible for Thistle this summer, having re-signed with the club for their 2009 campaign. Getting off to a fantastic start in pre-season with a hat trick against St Duthus in March, and a first of the season in his first start against Alness last Wednesday, Calum is sure more goals will follow.<br /><br /><i>“When I heard that Robbie Ross was a goal or two ahead of me in the all-time Thistle scoring records, the first thing I thought was “God, I do need to keep playing then!”</i>

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