The Lang Route back to full time footballTuesday, 25th Jun 2019
“It was never going to be a quick decision but when a club like Dunfermline comes in it’s always going to be attractive.”
Tom Lang is delighted to be back in full-time football and claims that was his target all along. The Pars new signing started as a youth player at Birmingham City and Rangers before making a mark in his 24 appearances for Clyde last season.
He played every minute of their four play off matches to secure promotion to League One. But he is aware that the transition from youth football to first team football and from part-time football to full-time football is faced with difficulty. Tom revealed:-
“In the first couple of years, I really struggled to play many games at all. And then Clyde was the best move for me. I played quite a few games there, week-in, week-out, and I feel like my game’s really progressed since I’ve been given that chance to play.
“I really can’t wait. I just want to push on now and do everything I can to be as fit as possible and work every day to make myself a better player.”
Being part time allowed Tom to develop his other job as a personal trainer, he continued:-
“It was good for me and although I only did that last season, it had a massive impact on me. It gave me better physicality, which I felt was probably a weak point when I was younger.
“I bulked up a little bit and it made me quicker; it helped me on and off the ball. It really benefited me, so I’ll carry on the gym work.”
Tom was eighteen when at Rangers in season 2015-2016 and he found it hard as he tried out life with Dumbarton and then Stranraer:-
“At the time, I went on trial to four or five clubs and they were good clubs, but I was only 19 and they said I was too old for under-20s, so I needed to be ready for the first-team.
“In the end, you sign for a part-time team but you think you’re better than that and then you’re not playing. So, you do need to get your head round it and I would advise young players to get their heads around it quickly and don’t think about the short-term but the long-term picture.
“You’ve just got to work on yourself as if you are still full-time and hopefully you get the rewards from that. Luckily, I have done. It’s just about taking the opportunity and pushing on.
“The first two clubs I went to weren’t good for me, but I only spent six months at both those clubs, and then Clyde came in for me and I dropped right down. I never expected that to happen but I needed to play games. Nobody was going to see me if I wasn’t playing games.
“So I went there and they helped me a lot, I pushed on a lot, and I’m a completely different player now to what I was at 19. I feel like I’m ready for full-time football again, I feel like I’m ready to push up the leagues again. I’m really excited.”
His manager at Clyde was former St Mirren gaffer, Danny Lennon, and Tom stressed how good he had been for him, even though he didn’t always like what he heard:-
“He would tell me how it was sometimes, he was no-nonsense, but I like that. I like to play a lot and he told me when to play and when not to play.
“I would only say good things about Danny, he’s a very good manager, and he helped my game a lot. I was doing well for Clyde but at the back of my mind I was thinking ‘if I do well and help get Clyde promoted then hopefully clubs will be watching me and who knows what will happen in the summer’.
“A couple of clubs were interested and Dunfermline were one of them. As soon as I heard about Dunfermline I snapped up the offer because it’s a massive club.
“Dunfermline is a big, big club. They’re getting gates of 5,000 in the Championship and I spoke to the management team and the chairman and it was all positive.
“They watched me a lot last season, which I really liked; they actually took an interest in me. It was never going to be a quick decision but when a club like Dunfermline comes in it’s always going to be attractive.”
Having arrived for pre season a week and a half behind the rest of the squad Tom is determined to get his fitness levels up as quickly as possible and push on.
For a player whose first two matches last season were against Elgin City and Cowdenbeath the prospect of playing his first match s for the Pars in front of much bigger audiences excites:-
“Seeing the fixtures and seeing Dundee first game and Dundee United third game was brilliant. That’s what you want, you want big games, any player will tell you that. You want to progress and push yourself and those are teams that are going to be challenging this season.
“We may as well get them out straight away and it will be interesting. I’m really looking forward to this season and seeing what we can do.”
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