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Leaving Dons was move of my life


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http://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/Article.aspx/879656

 

JAMIE McAllister today revealed turning his back on Aberdeen was the best move of his career.

 

Now at Bristol City, the left-back was a surprise call-up to George Burley’s Scotland squad for tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Norway.

 

And the 30-year-old reckons he would never have won an international call-up, if he had remained at Pittodrie.

 

He said: “My career really kicked-on when I left Aberdeen, and there have been so many highs since then.

 

“I won the League Cup with Livingston and scored in the final at Hampden and I won promotion to the Championship with Bristol City.

 

“Then last season I played in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley in the promotion play-off final.

 

“I had a great four-year spell at Pittodrie, and it was only the last two or three months where it went a bit wrong.

 

“The team were not doing well and I had knocked back two contract offers from the club, so I came in for a bit of stick.

 

“Leaving Aberdeen ultimately worked out very well for me.â€

 

Signed from Queen of the South for £100,000 by then Dons boss Ebbe Skovdahl, McAllister’s form in the Championship earned him an international recall.

 

And he insists he never gave up on the dream of adding to his solitary Scotland cap, despite joining unfashionable Bristol City.

 

“It’s great to be back involved as it is more than three years since my last call up when I played against Trinidad and Tobago,†he said.

 

“I always believed I would get another chance and it helps to be part of a successful side like City.

 

“I spent nine years in Scotland building up a reputation then I had to go down to England and do it all again which was a real challenge.

 

“It has worked out well, as we nearly got to the Premier League last season, and were 90 minutes away from playing in the best league in the world.â€

 

McAllister is unlikely to start the Group Nine qualifier, but is delighted to be out of the wilderness.

 

A Scotland man through and through, McAllister is relishing the chance to be involved after years of cheering on the national side.

 

“It would be fantastic to play, and would be the pinnacle of my career so far,†he said.

 

“I have been to a lot of Scotland games at Hampden as a fan, and am very passionate about my country.

 

“The atmosphere is unbelievable and sends a tingle up your spine as a fan, I cannot imagine what it would be like to be out on the pitch experiencing that.

 

“I have experienced an international at Easter Road, but Hampden would be extra special.

 

Anyone want to move onto a new club?

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Truth was though, I remember speaking with Ebbe and one of the coaching staff at the time and they said McCallister was technically the most gifted defender at the club - he just didn't have the concentration which was why he constantly made mistakes!

 

When his competition included David Lilley, Thomas Solberg and Derek Whyte that's not much to write home about, eh?

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