Jan 25 2013 By Andrew McNair
Queens defender Ryan McGuffie is enjoying his team’s success a little more than most this season.
The 32-year-old Dumfries resident is living amongst the buzz surrounding the Palmerston club’s promotion push.
McGuffie, who captained Allan Johnston’s men against Forfar last Saturday, said: “It makes a real difference for myself – I know a lot of the faces in the crowd which makes you feel pretty good when you are out there and because I live locally, people come up to me in the supermarket for example and want to talk about the team which is always nice.
“We started the season really well and have continued that form up to now – we just have to keep it going a while longer.
“I used to watch Queens at Palmerston as a boy and remember jumping the fence to get in when the likes of Tommy Bryce were playing. I also grew up next door to former player Roy Henderson, who was inducted into the hall of fame on Saturday night, and he always used to go on about the Queens.”
The former Gretna and Greenock Morton player, who once scored a goal in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden for Gretna, also occasionly has the honour of leading his club out onto the Palmerston turf.
He continued: “Before the season it was sort of down to a choice between myself and Chris Higgins to be the captain. Higgins got the nod and has been fantastic but it was a proud moment to captain Queens at the weekend.
“I have done it five or six times now as I had the honour of leading the team out a couple of times last season too.”
This weekend Queens travel to face third placed Brechin City at Glebe Park for a game the gaffer Allan Johnston claims is a must-win – despite his charges now enjoying a 19-point lead at the top of division two after beating Forfar Athletic.
McGuffie said of the tie: “They have a lot of good players and are a tough team to play against.
“I like their striker Andy Jackson but if we can keep him and their other main players quiet then we should get another three points.
“Their pitch isn’t great and it could be a bit of a dog fight just like it was against Forfar at times.
“Goals change games and I was lucky enough that the ball fell to me and I took it well to open the scoring on Saturday. The goals from Derek Lyle and Nicky Clark also came at good times for us.
“The 3-1 scoreline might have flattered us a little but when you look over the game, like Allan Johnston likes to each week, we had a fair few chances in the first half as well.”
The versatile stopper filled in at centre back in the absence of his captain on Saturday but could well slip back to his favoured right back position this weekend.
He added: “Higgins should be back so we shall see how the manager decides to shuffle it around on Saturday.
“I prefer playing at right back as you get more of the ball and can have more of an attacking influence on the game at times.
“But having said that – at centre back there is a bit more responsibility and a lot more talking to those around you which I also like.”