Graeme McKinnon is the captain of Real Gothic and one of the teams best strikers. The goatee'd maestro from Stonehaven, Scotland took some time out to answer some of our questions.
"Kynon" leading the line
How does it feel to be the captain of a team like Real Gothic?
The stock line would be to say that it’s an honour & a privilege, and that’s probably about right. I don’t think any of my pre-match speeches will win any awards (they’re certainly not repeatable!), but I’ve never felt anything other than pride when leading the guys out & on the pitch.
You’ve been the main source of goals over the years for the Goths, do you have a goal that is a particular favourite of yours?
Hmm...odd one. My usual feeling is that I don’t care who scores, as long as we win – I get as much of a kick out of setting up someone else as I do from scoring. If pushed, there’s probably two that really stand out for me – first is the free-kick I scored in the 4-3 win. Postage stamp & nothing but net! The other one is when I lobbed Rich “Mad Dog” Davies in that slightly damp game which was abandoned due to seagulls invading the pitch.
What’s been your favourite on pitch memory?
The look of abject terror on James Kairton’s face after he scored the winner in our penalty shoot-out, and then turned round to see all of us charging & roaring down the pitch towards him! (Can’t say that I blame him though...)
As a keen Rugby fan, is there a rule from Rugby you’d like to see implemented in football?
No handling in the ruck...no, wait...the other one. Actually, there’s two. First, not so much a rule, as this is already an offence in the football rulebook, but more of an attitude shift – I would dearly like to see football referees take the same approach to dissent as the rugby referees do: either move a free-kick further down the pitch every time someone mouths off at the referee, or yellow/red-carding them. Players would learn very quickly... Second, 10-minute sin-bin for yellow card offences. Combine that with the first one and the ugly spectacle of players crowding the ref, using “fruity” language, would disappear pretty quickly – and it would set a much better example for young players everywhere. (I hope that there’s enough room for that essay!)
Goalden Boy: Graeme gets his hands on the 'El Gothico' trophy for the first time as skipper
As one of the fittest members of the team, what training advice can you give to any Goths out there suffering with the dreaded ‘middle aged spread’
Haha – I’m not entirely sure I still hold that accolade, however: training has to be suited to what we’re doing, which is football in this case. Therefore, for pure fitness, we are probably talking interval training – work/rest/work/rest etc. Types of exercises - sprint pyramids, exercises that work on explosive power/leg speed, agility exercises, and doing things at high intensity – i.e. work as hard as you can in each interval, and keep the rests short. This will also help your body “learn” to recover quicker, and it will also raise your metabolism for a longer period, which will aid with battling the unwanted bulge(s).
Which player have you enjoyed playing with the most during your time on the team?
I’ve enjoyed sharing the pitch with all of my fellow Real Gothic teammates – but the one I’ve probably had the most fun with is that one that wears the trackie bottoms...what was his name again? ;-)
Who is your all time footballing hero?
So much for the easy questions then! Um. I’m not actually sure there is one, to be honest! I admire Mattias Sammer for the way he played libero in the 90’s, Carlos Puyol for making the very most of what is a relatively limited skill-set, and Roberto Baggio for showing that even the most outrageously gifted players can make total howlers from time to time. Oh, and Johann Cruyff for teaching me how to beat Kielty in the Gazette midfield from time to time. ;-)
Rumour has it you don’t care much for the song “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers, even though it’s become your personal football chant of recent years. Being a proud Scotsman, you HAVE to like The Proclaimers don’t you?
I can’t imagine where you got that idea from... Liking the Proclaimers is definitely not mandatory for Scots – in fact, singing any of their songs in certain parts of Edinburgh could quite possibly get you a kicking for your trouble! Let’s go with “it’s overplayed”, shall we?
As the song goes, people would “walk 500 miles to see McKinnon score”. How far would you travel to get away from people singing this at you?
Just far enough that I was out of earshot...although I will obviously make an exception at the 80’s nights in Whitby!