Motherwell midfielder Allan Campbell hopes he has helped create a pathway for other youngsters as he nears the end of his contract.
Campbell’s deal expires later this month and there is sure to be keen interest in the Scotland Under-21s international, who Motherwell rejected bids for in January.
Motherwell have offered Campbell a new contract and the 22-year-old is keeping his cards close to his chest. But, after 13 years at Fir Park, now would be the natural time for him to seek a new challenge while earning his employers compensation.
The all-round midfielder has been held up as an inspiration by a succession of coaches for his commitment on and off the park and he hopes his example helps those following in his steps.
“I’ve been lucky enough to come through the ages and get my chance to play for the first team and hopefully create a pathway for young kids trying to get that dream and goal,” he told the PA news agency.
“When you’re coming through at Motherwell it’s just about trying to get your debut and become a regular in the team and that’s been brilliant for me. They trusted me to play and I have just kept my place and kept trying to perform well.
“I have played over 150 games now which has been brilliant.
“You focus on what’s next and I have mainly just focused on playing well so I can have a chance of starting the next game and it went on from there.”
Campbell has seen peers Jake Hastie and David Turnbull move to Rangers and Celtic respectively, although the former has been back at Fir Park on loan this season.
“There’s a lot of people I have played with for a number of years, good pals, and to see them do so well and improve their careers is brilliant, and that’s credit to Motherwell for bringing the young players up and giving them a chance to perform at that level,” Campbell said.
“Obviously I’m pals with Dave so I speak to him regularly. I’m not surprised he is making an impact in the team and I’m sure he will keep doing well for Celtic.”
With the progress Turnbull and Campbell are making, it is not unrealistic to think both could be reunited in the Scotland team in the coming years.
“That would be great,” Campbell said. “I’m sure a lot of Motherwell fans would love that. If both of us keep doing well in our careers, then you never know.
“It’s every young player’s dream to do well for your club and one day pull on that jersey to represent your country. I just need to keep working hard and doing well on the park and hopefully one day that chance will come.”
With Motherwell on form and looking to clinch seventh, Campbell refused to look far ahead when asked about his future.
“My main focus is just playing well,” he said. “I’ve got two games left of the season and I am just thinking about trying to put in a good performance and get results for the team.
“We want to just keep winning games for the fans, the club and ourselves to give everyone something to cheer about and finish this season on a high.”
Campbell was speaking at a Fun Football session in Glasgow where primary school children are supported to play the game in a scheme run by McDonald’s in partnership with the Scottish Football Association.
“It’s great to see the kids enjoy themselves and it just reminds you of when you were younger and just playing football without any worries, and just there to enjoy it,” he said. “I have always loved the game, it’s what I have been brought up doing.”