Having moved through the ranks to Livingston first-team scene from the club’s youth development programme, Robert Snodgrass has so far let his football do the talking.
But Robert revealed that listening has been the key to his success so far.
And it’s all down to the club’s ‘golden oldies’ talking the 17-year-old through his first team matches.
Football’s been in Robert’s blood as long as he can remember. Growing up in Glasgow’s Gallowgate area, the youngest of three boys and two girls, he remembers neighbours coming to his parents’ door complaining about the amount of time he spent playing football out in the street.
But all that practice paid dividends, with a host of big-name clubs joining the neighbours in knocking on the Snodgrass door.
Musically, though, his tastes are very different. “I like the Beatles songs. My dad plays them all the time at home, that and Bob Dylan.”
Robert also revealed another side to his nature; he’s something of a family man when it comes to his nephew and nieces. “ I’ve got two nephews and a niece.
We had a great time on Friday night before bonfire night, I spent £45 buying them fireworks and setting them off in the back garden. It was great fun.”
Robert remembers his first Livingston senior goal and again Robert said the goal was down to listening to what his (ex) team-mates were telling him.
“when Jim Hamilton played with Livi, he told me that Scott Wilson always dives in, so I waited for him to do that and took it the left, my favourite foot, and just curled it in.
“It was the best feeling ever when it hit the net. And there was a double reason for celebrating. Because of my attitude last year, I didn’t always get on with Paul Hegarty and Billy Kirkwood and because they were on the Dunfermline bench I was even more determined to score.
“It was also very emotional because my family were all there. I would love to experience that feeling again.”
Robert trained with both halves of the Old Firm as well as Hibernian. But Celtic, Clyde and Livingston were the first three clubs to offer Robert terms. When it came down to it, though, Livingston had one ace up their sleeve. “They provided transport,” he explained, “a bus used to pick me up at Celtic Park and take me though to Livingston.”
Although Robert’s family are Celtic fans, he felt he wouldn’t have a chance of breaking through at Parkhead. “They told me they had high hopes for me, but I didn’t think I’d get a chance.”
Robert’s enjoying life as a member of the Livingston first team squad. “It’s definitely helped my attitude,” he added, “because I’m training with professional players I feel experienced and professional. I now know how important it is to turn up on time and things like that.”
That’s not the only difference Robert is experiencing in life with the first team squad. “The pace is a lot faster and the challenges are much more physical,” he added, “and everybody seems to know a lot about the game. Livingston’s team is not really full of youngsters so you have got to try and read the game more and focus when you’re playing with players like that.
Robert’s first start for the first team was pre-season against East Stirling. He then came on against Kilmarnock and started the game with Hearts.
“My heart was beating when Allan Preston told me I was in against Hearts; it was adrenalin that really took me through that game. We played really well that day and should have taken all three points on the day.”
Robert’s played for Scotland at under-17 level and is naturally looking to eventually play for the senior squad.
“My ambition is to play at the very highest level.
“My hero was Davie Cooper, because of his left foot and I’d like to do even half as much in the game as he did.”
Surprisingly, perhaps, because of his tender years, Robert is already considering his future in football after his playing years are over.
And he’s already turning his hand to coaching. “I like teaching my nephew. Even although he’s just 10-years-old, he takes a lot in.”
When and where were you born?
Romantic status (ie married, single, available, unavailable)
What’s your favourite record?
Anything by The Beatles
Who would you want to play you in a film?
What do you like most about West Lothian?
What do you like least about West Lothian?
If you could be someone else, who would it be?
Justin Timberlake (for his dancing skills, Yea Yea)
What do you like most about yourself?
What do you like least about yourself?