FOR Robby McCorie, it was in from the cold and into the, well, cold on Saturday, but he’ll be the first to tell you he wouldn’t have it any other way.
The 22-year-old made just his second league start in five months as Livingston were held by St Mirren in torrential conditions in Paisley.
While it’s the first time the Rangers loanee has found himself playing second fiddle in his career, he knows it’s a rite of passage for any goalkeeper and believes he’ll come out all the better for it in the long run.
“It has never happened to me before in my career where I have had to sit on the bench and it was a learning curve for me,” McCrorie said. “I feel stronger for it to be honest.
“Of course I would love to go through my whole career and be a first choice and play every week but it isn’t going to happen.
David Martindale will have a big choice to make when it comes to his goalkeepers on Sunday
“This is the bit that I feel I have probably grown the most. It could be easy and you play and win every game but it is the times when things maybe don’t go your way that you learn the most about yourself.
“The whole point of a loan move is to get new experiences. I went to Berwick and then Queen of the South and I learned from them and I have learned other things here.
“It doesn’t matter where I am, I make sure I am prepared no matter what comes my way.
“I hope to have a long career but I will never stop learning.
“In ten or 15 years there are going to be things that come up which I have never faced before, so it is about tackling it and growing from it and doing well.”
It can’t have escaped McCrorie that Saturday was a chance to stake a claim for a starting spot when Livingston walk out at Hampden for the Betfred Cup final this Sunday.
However, he says he will just as happily cheer on Max Stryjek should David Martindale opt for the Pole.
“We didn’t want to look too far ahead of ourselves,” he said. “It is easy to get caught up in what is coming up this week.
“I know I will need to put in the work in training and then the gaffer will decide who plays.
“No matter what happens I will support the team and help any way I can.”
One man who may have put a spanner in the works in McCrorie’s bid to play in the final is Cammy MacPherson, the young St Mirren midfielder who rifled an equaliser beyond the goalkeeper in Paisley.
“I’ve been long overdue a goal for a while now,” the 22-year-old, who scored for the first time since December 2019, said. “To get one in that fashion was really pleasing.”
When asked about his fearlessness on the pitch, he said: “That’s the way everyone should try. It’s hard to do it all the time. That’s what the best players do.
“When you do it and it comes off, it’s pretty sweet.”