McAlister has point to prove back home

McAlister is now a free agent following his release from Blackpool
McAlister is now a free agent following his release from Blackpool

Jim McAlister was frustrated not to be given more game-time in the final weeks of his Blackpool career and is now looking for a fresh start north of the border.

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The midfielder was released by the Seasiders at the end of the season, three years after making the move from Dundee.

McAlister featured only once for Gary Bowyer’s side in the 2017/18 League One season thanks to a lengthy recovery from a fractured tibia sustained against Colchester United in February 2017.

He had only had two substitute appearances for the Seasiders in the interim, in January’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat against Shrewsbury Town and April’s victory at Gillingham.

Now McAlister, who played 67 times for the club, is hoping to write a new chapter in his career.

Top of the wishlist is a return to Scotland, which would complement his wife’s work commitments and also allow him to prove a point to the Bloomfield Road coaching staff.

He told the Scottish Sun: “I would love one more crack at the Scottish Premiership.

“At the end of the day her career is going to be longer and more important than mine, so I think it’s better to set up base back home in Scotland and look for something here.

“The worry is that I’ve not played for 14 months.

“I was training there (Blackpool) for the last few months of the season and I was promised game time coming up to the last four games of the season to prove to managers that I’m fit and ready to go for pre-season.

“But they never gave me those minutes on the pitch, so I was a bit annoyed at how it ended down there.

“They could have sent me up to a club in Scotland to train for the last few weeks but they didn’t.

“I’ve been training really hard on my own for the last two weeks to get my fitness levels back where they were pre-injury.

“In terms of my fitness and my quality, knowing myself that won’t be an issue.

“It’s just about finding a manager that will put that trust in me.

“Getting about the pitch and the legs going is probably my biggest strength!

“I think sometimes managers look at players over 30 and put a wee question mark beside their name. But I don’t see that as an issue for me.”

With more than 500 career games under his belt, McAlister is hopeful someone will take a chance on his experience rather than be put off by his lack of recent game time.

He could have been back in contention earlier had it not been for a setback in training.

He added: “I’ve got good experience and hopefully managers will understand that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me now. I’m fit and able to go.

“Hopefully they can look past that and see the experience. I want to be a help to someone.

“Initially I was out for 10 months. Then as I was coming back, myself and a team-mate smashed into one another in training.

“I’ve been lucky that I played 12 or 13 years without injury and then a boy has done me in a tackle. When it’s something like that there’s nothing you can do.

“I played a long time at Morton, which was a great grounding for a young player.

“Then I was at Hamilton for a shorter period but I really enjoyed Dundee.”