Auchinleck Talbot legend Willie Lyle keen to create memories with Irvine Meadow after move

Willie Lyle insists he’s ready to create new special memories with Irvine Meadow after making the tough decision to leave all-conquering Auchinleck Talbot.

The 37-year-old defender closed the book on a decade of unbelievable success with the ‘Bot – including five years as captain – when he completed a move to Meadow Park last week.

It was a decision he wrestled with after falling out the first team picture at Beechwood Park.

But a burning desire to keep playing – and the chance to work under his old Talbot teammates Colin Spence, James Latta and David Gillies – ultimately persuaded him it was time to move on.

And Medda fans need not wonder or worry about Lyle simply using an old pals’ act to continue his career. He’s as hungry as ever for silverware and insists that he played a major part in his thinking of him.

Quite simply, he is used to winning and won’t settle for anything less.

“Of course, I’ve come to win things,” said Lyle. “I can’t just be happy to settle for being middle of the road. I always want to win and get better.

“As a player you always want to be up there challenging for leagues and cups. That’s no different whether it’s at Talbot or Meadow.

“It was obviously a very tough decision to leave Talbot. I’ve supported them since a kid and loved my time there.

Lyle loved his time at Talbot
Lyle loved his time at Talbot

“But after 10 years, I wasn’t used to not playing. I played the first 10 or 11 games at the start of the season then all of a sudden I was out of the team.

“There was no fall-out or anything but it became clear that I wasn’t going to be part of the manager’s plans.

“People have said to me I could have hung around till the end of the season and maybe claimed another couple of medals.

“But that’s not what I’m about. If I’m not involved it doesn’t feel the same.

“I’ve known James Latta since I was about 14, 15 years-old. We played at Ayr United together and obviously with Spenny for six or seven years at Talbot.

“They knew I wasn’t playing and things moved from there. I like what they are trying to build at Meadow and like what they had to say about their plans.

“I’m here to play and help the team with an eye on maybe doing a bit of coaching in the future.

“I feel fresh and I still think there is plenty of juice in my legs. I might be short of match practice but you only get that with game time.

“I don’t know what they’ve got planned for me in terms of when I might play but I’m ready to help the team if they need me.”

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Lyle is promising more of the all-action, committed performances that were typical of his time at Talbot. But he also realizes he has a role to play as a seasoned warhorse.

He added: “I obviously bring a bit of experience and hopefully I can help be a guide to the younger players and help in terms of organization.”

Co-boss Colin Spence admits he is delighted to bring a player of Lyle’s caliber on board.

He said: “You can see in training the will to win and professionalism he has. That, and his experience of it, can be huge for us. There have been times this season where we’ve not managed to see games out and that’s when those tools come into their own.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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