All's Fair In Love And Football
Updated Saturday, 20th January 2007
Alan Combe will be facing Dundee United for his first game of the season today.
It has been a while coming but Alan Combe is in no mood to give up the Kilmarnock goalkeeping gloves after waiting all season to win them back. Out with a hip injury, he could only watch as while rookie goalkeeper Graeme Smith made the gloves his own. Combe finally made his long-awaited first appearance of the season in last week's 2-1 defeat to Hibs, following Killie's shock Tennent's Scottish Cup exit to Second Division Morton. He expects to remain in goal for today's game against Dundee United - and for many more games to come. Combe said: "I just need to look after myself and try to stay in the team. Hopefully I will get back to my best as soon as possible. It will probably be two or three games before I feel as though I've got the edge back. I'm looking forward to Saturday's game and hopefully we get a good result and I do OK and stay in for the next game."
Doctors were baffled by Combe's injury, which was only made worse by undergoing surgery in the summer. But he insists the low point of the campaign was sitting on the bench, fully fit, waiting for his chance in the first team again. He added: "There was a long period of sitting on the sidelines at the beginning of the season. I was just hitting the gym every day and I didn't really know what the problem was. It's sorted out now and there was a period of about five or six games sitting on the bench and that was the hardest point because big Graeme was doing well in the team."
It must have been hard for Combe to carry out his other duties of goalkeeping coach at Rugby Park as he would have been trying to get the best out of Smith while challenging him for the number one jersey. In his capacity of being Smith's coach and mentor, Combe had a few words of encouragement for Smith. He said: "He will be feeling down about it but he just needs to get his head up. He is still a young goalie, he has done well and he's got nothing to be ashamed of. He has come out in the last couple of days and trained as hard as he did previously so I don't think there will be any problems."
Ger Harley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Admin Team (email@example.com)
This is Scottish-Fitba.Net