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Liverpool new boy Robertson – from answering phones at Hampden to Reds debut in five years

Date Posted,July 27, 2017

Liverpool new boy Andrew Robertson was answering phones at Hampden Park just five years ago.

The Scotland left-back completed his dream switch from Hull this summer and is in line to make his debut against Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

It is a far cry from where Robertson was at in 2012, as he juggled playing for Queen’s Park with working full-time at the home of Scottish football, reports the Liverpool Echo.

“Queen’s Park was amateur so you don’t get paid,” he said.

“I worked in the corporate side of things. It was taking calls and orders for tickets for the concerts and the football games.

Robertson during a training session (Image: Liverpool FC)
Robertson after signing for Liverpool (Image: Liverpool FC)

“There was a guy Andrew McGlennan who had worked at Queens Park for years. He sorted a lot of the boys out with jobs.

“He looked after me and made sure I had some money in my pocket with a bit of hard work. He knew what the dream was and helped me. So did my mum and dad.

“We trained twice a week at night and played games on a Saturday so I was working 9am to 5pm and then having to train at 6pm.”

Robertson, who made his debut for Queen’s Park against Berwick Rangers in July 2012 in front of a crowd of just 372, was 18. He had agreed with his parents to give it one more year to pursue his ambition of making it in the professional ranks.

Robertson in action for Dundee United (Image: Mark Runnacles)
The defender celebrates at Hull (Image: Action Images via Reuters)

“They said they would give me that season to try and push on and make that dream a reality, but after that you might have to look at other options,” he said.

“I was going down the line of needing to apply for university or college. Maybe becoming a PE teacher or something in sports science.

“Luckily, that season was going quite well and by the January or February we knew that full-time clubs were in for me.

“I had one season in the first team at Queen’s Park when Rangers had just been put down to the third division so there was a lot more TV time for it.

“I managed to keep my form going in the second half of the season so we knew there would be options at the end.”

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Since he was snapped up by Dundee United in June 2013, he hasn’t looked back.

By the end of that season he had been crowned PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year and made his senior debut for Scotland.

Clubs south of the border had been alerted to his talent and in July 2014 Hull City snapped him up for £3million.

“Jackie McNamara took me to Dundee United,” he said.

“I managed to go in and do everything that maybe they didn’t quite expect. It was perfect for me.

Jurgen Klopp talking with Andrew Robertson (Image: Liverpool FC)
Andrew Robertson of Liverpool during a training session (Image: Getty)

“They were giving me two years – the first year to try and settle in, and then the second season to really kick on.

“But luckily in the first season I just hit the ground running and I made the position my own. Then the English came calling. Steve Bruce managed to get hold of me.

“I became a Hull player. It was probably the same again. I got thrown in.

“I remember Liam Rosenior getting injured the day before the Premier League started. Steve Bruce gave me the nod and said: ‘Go on, do what you can do’.”

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It proved to be a rollercoaster three years at the KC Stadium. Two relegations were sandwiched by promotion from the Championship via the play-offs.

However, Robertson’s stock continued to rise. Every step of the way he was spurred on by a burning desire to prove wrong those who had cast him aside when he was 15. Celtic had decided he was too small to make it in the senior ranks.

“It was the point where people were going into full-time and at the time they didn’t think I was quite ready,” he said.

“Celtic did it face to face. To be fair to them, my two coaches took me into a meeting with my parents.

“There was a transition going on at Celtic at the time where a new head of youth (Chris McCart) had come in. I didn’t fit his bill.

“He came from Motherwell who were full of big lads and were physical. That wasn’t my game. I was small. I’m not big now but it took me time to grow and fill out.

“He saw a small guy playing centre mid, left mid or left-back at that time who was quite weak. To be fair I was but I believed in my ability.

“Looking back on it now, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I didn’t like him for it but it was the best decision for me.

“Being rejected was hard because I was a Celtic fan from birth but it really helped me become the man I am.

“It took nearly a full season to get over that disappointment if I’m being honest. My first year at Queens Park, I just wasn’t good enough – I was nowhere near the standard required. But that tough period shaped me. That was the first time I had anyone doubt me.”

Andrew Robertson in action for Scotland against Malta (Image: Daily Record)
Andy Robertson of Liverpool during a training session (Image: Liverpool FC)

During his early days at Celtic, Robertson had been inspired by the legendary figure of Tommy Burns, who lost his battle with cancer in 2008.

“Going through Celtic, Tommy Burns was great with me,” he said.

“When he died, it hit everyone hard and I was no different. He was different class with me, he liked me as a player, he liked me as a person and he could see what potential I had.

“He sadly passed away and Celtic went down another route afterwards, one which was hard on a few players, but good for others that maybe didn’t fit Tommy’s vision.”

Liverpool had considered making a move for Robertson a year ago after giving up on Ben Chilwell.

Liverpool considered Chilwell (Image: Rex Features)

This summer he was repeatedly linked with Anfield but it was only when the call came to leave Hull’s pre-season training camp in Portugal earlier this month that he knew it was happening.

“There was talk between the two clubs and my agent, but until you’re on the plane on the way here you don’t want to get ahead of yourself,” he said.

“When Liverpool come in for you it’s a no-brainer, you don’t need to think about it.

“The first time I spoke to the manager I was taken away by him and his plans. Obviously I’ve played against his side and know how hard it is against Jurgen Klopp’s team.

“To finally end up in the shirt is a massive honour, but one of relief as well after all the long about it

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“I just couldn’t wait to get here once the fee was agreed. I want to be part of that team and make it hard for teams to break us down and beat us.”

It’s a busy time for Robertson as adjusting to life as part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad is accompanied by preparing for fatherhood.

“My girlfriend is expecting our first child at the end of August,” he added.

“Not long now. We’re just trying to get everything sorted for that.

“We’ve got all the furniture, but we just need to put it up when we get a house. All exciting times of course but also a wee bit stressful. I’m sure we’ll deal with it.”

His first meeting with Klopp was dominated with talk about the hurdles he’s had to overcome in his career so far. The Liverpool boss never had it easy himself.

Robertson said: “The manager was asking me about my story. He liked my journey from the very bottom of Scottish football to where I am now. That’s what has driven me along every season.”

It’s certainly some tale.

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