Kris Faulds doesn’t see a step into the Lowland League with East Stirlingshire as a move down in his football journey.
Just four years ago he was living any teenage boy’s dream of playing fulltime football with his home town team, a regular member of Falkirk’s first team squad at just 17. Since his release, though, Kris has dropped from the Championship level, had a difficult season in with Stenhousemuir, before joining Shire last summer. And although he became more or less a permanent fixture in coach Craig Tully’s plans he wasn’t able to avoid the drop out of the SPFL.
This week the 21 year old became the first player to commit to helping Shire regain their league status when he signed a one year contract extension.
Kris says the memory of that pyramid playoff defeat against Edinburgh City last month still hurts.
“It was a hard time,” he said. “Especially on the Saturday night and it was a bad experience for everyone at the club to be the first to be relegated in that way, but hopefully we can become the first to go straight back up.
“That was part of the motivation to come back. It’s going to be a challenge because there will be good teams in that league but I believe the new management team of John Sludden and Martin Mooney will be able to get together a squad of players capable ofwinning the league.
“It’s been hard for me to drop leagues. I still think I am good enough to go and play in most teams. I just need to try and prove that and do it on a more consistent basis.”
There is nothing conceited or arrogant about Faulds and his approach. If anything, despite all that’s happened to him, he seems grateful still to have the opportunity to continue playing football, no matter the circumstances or the surroundings.
“It’s still a joy to come and play football, it’s a luxury in my life,” he said. “You can never give it up because you don’t know how long it’s going to be there for. I just want to embrace the challenge and I can’t wait for the new season to start,” he said.