Elgin City signing Joel MacBeath can't wait to return to football with his home town club following his release from Ross County
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JOEL MacBeath can’t wait to pick up his blossoming football career with Elgin City and dismiss the pain of rejection by Ross County.
The 19-year-old striker is an Elgin boy, schooled at Bishopmill Primary and Elgin Academy, yet never played for his home town club after being picked up by County at the age of seven.
When the Dingwall club failed to offer MacBeath a new contract to extend his 12 years at the club, he made the decision to return home to Moray and accept the offer of a two-year deal at City, buying into their quest for a long-awaited promotion.
“I feel it’s the best place where I can play my football now,” he said. “When I spoke to the manager he told me what the club was aiming for and that was a big attraction to me and why I wanted to come.
“Elgin have been stuck in League Two for quite a long time now and he made it clear that the objective this year is to get out and up to League One, which I feel is something the club and the local community is due.
“A lot of the fans have been waiting for this moment and hopefully it can come this season.”
A year ago, MacBeath had earned his first professional contract at County and was eager to make his breakthrough into the Premiership side’s first team.
“I went out on loan to Montrose for half a season then came back. Covid hit then and I didn’t really know 100 per cent what was going on, but I wasn’t offered a new contract,” he said.
“But it’s a great club and I’ve made lots of good memories from my time there. The coaching staff helped me become the player I am, I had loads of opportunities to train with the first team and got first team football at Montrose, which also helped me.”
That spell at Links Park saw the young attacker assist a revival in the Angus club’s fortunes, as within weeks of his arrival they had shot up from the foot of the League One table to a position challenging for the play-offs.
MacBeath scored on his home debut, a thrilling 4-3 win over Peterhead, and netted the following week at Broadwood in a 2-0 success over Clyde.
Six consecutive victories took Montrose up the table, before County ended their young player’s loan spell at the turn of the year.
“I had a great spell there because it was my first ever time playing first team football,” he said.
“The main thing for me now is getting regular football, playing every single week and I want to do that at Elgin.”
He sees himself as a central striker who likes to play off the shoulder of the last defender, and rates himself as a good finisher and a hard worker.
“Just because I’ve come down from a Premiership club like Ross County it doesn’t mean the end of me trying to progress my career as well,” said MacBeath.
“Elgin is obviously my focus just now, but I am still looking to try and get back to where I was if possible, and hopefully playing at Premiership level one day.”
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