After Jordan Longmuir, Adam Forde is the longest-serving member of the current Pollok team, having signed in 2017. The forward made his 150th appearance last season, and with 94 goals to his name, is closing in on a century after a fine start to the season which has seen him net eleven times in as many games.
In his six years of the club, there have been many memorable moments and his habit of scoring outstanding goals has made him a firm fans’ favourite at Newlandsfield. We sat down with him to discuss his career to date and the highlights of his time in black and white.
Tell us a bit about your early years. What are your earliest memories of playing football, and which teams did you play for at youth level?
I was playing football as soon as I could walk really. I always had a ball under my arm as a youngster and I played for Barrhead Boys Club, Erskine Boys Club and Aberdeen pro-youth for four years.
Your senior career began at Stranraer. What memories do you have of your debut, and how much of a challenge was it to play at that level at such a young age?
My debut was against Lisburn Distillery from Ireland in a pre-season friendly in 2013 and I scored the winner. It was hard to get a starting spot in that team at the time because the quality of the five strikers we had was so high. We were reaching the League One play-offs every year, and I learned a lot from the strikers I played with.
While still at Stranraer, you spent a short loan spell at Neilston for your first foray into the Juniors. How big a change was it to play at that level, and how did you adapt?
To be honest, I went on loan there for three months and I got a muscle injury early on, so I never got to play much. The biggest difference was the state of the parks as I went there in winter time, and let’s just say there were not a lot of games played!
Next up was Kilbirnie Ladeside where you joined an elite club of players that have beaten Auchinleck Talbot in a cup final! How important was it to win the 2016 Ayrshire League Cup for a club that had not won much in recent years?
The team we had at Kilbirnie was a very good one and we felt we could win a trophy. Although we didn’t get a big one, it was good to get the Ayrshire Cup against Talbot who were very strong at that time. I was really pleased to bring some success to Kilbirnie as I loved my time there and they were always great with me.
You signed for Pollok in 2017. When did you first hear of the interest from Newlandsfield, and what was your reaction?
It came after a season at Kilbirnie, when had just avoided relegation, but I had a good year in front of goal, scoring over twenty times. I was obviously very excited when Pollok phoned, and there were a lot of offers on the table. However, the size of the club and the set up made me want to come to Newlandsfield.
Your debut was in the Sectional League Cup away to your former club Neilston, and you scored in a 3-0 victory. What are your memories of that game?
I can’t really remember much apart from scoring via a deflection off my face!
Prior to the Covid-19 shutdown in 2020, you scored in Pollok’s last ever game as a junior club. How did the squad feel about joining the pyramid?
There wasn’t really much said about it if I’m being honest. We would be playing the same teams and not much was changing on the pitch. Obviously we were excited about the chance of competing in the senior Scottish Cup to play in massive games at a packed Newlandsfield!
Pollok elected to withdraw from the first WoSFL season, and you returned to Neilston on loan. How important was it for you to keep playing that season and what was it like playing in empty grounds while following Covid regulations?
I was pleased that the club allowed me to go on loan as it was important for me to keep playing and stay sharp. It was certainly strange getting changed in the stands and not being able to shower after games, especially during the winter!
Upon returning to Newlandsfield, you scored Pollok’s first goal as a senior club in a 5-1 opening day victory against Blantyre Victoria. What do you think the biggest change is in football at our level since the move to the seniors?
As I said before, not much has changed in terms of the teams we are playing or the competitiveness of the league as it is still as tough as it was in the Junior era.
You have scored 94 goals for Pollok so far, with some memorable strikes among them. Which ones stand out for you and why?
In recent weeks you seem to have developed a habit for overhead kicks. What is your secret to pulling them off so well?
For me, I think it is just an instinct thing. I tend to try them quite a lot in training so when the opportunity arrives in a game, it is always in my head that I am capable of pulling it off.
In your six years at Newlandsfield you have played alongside many different players. Who is the best that you have played with in the black and white?
This is a tough one. There have been so many good players that I have played with here. I don’t think I could pick an individual but I will give mentions to Del Esplin, the McCann brothers (Gary & Stuart) and Daz Christie who have all been great players here.
In six Scottish Cup ties for Pollok, you have five goals. What does it mean to play in a competition steeped in such history?
It’s a competition everyone in the squad has watched for years so just playing in it is great, but we all want to reach the latter stages and get a big tie.
What is your dream Scottish Cup draw?
Celtic at Parkhead.
After a 22-23 campaign which was disrupted by injuries, you have made an excellent start to this season after a pretty intense summer training with Darren Christie. How has that helped you to hit the ground running this campaign?
Last season wasn’t a great one for me on the pitch as I suffered several injuries. My other half also gave birth to our baby girl on Boxing Day so there were a lot of things happening away from football. I decided that once I got free from injury, I was going to get myself flying for pre-season, so I spoke to Darren who was offering a twelve week fitness programme which got me in great shape and in a good place to hit the ground running.
What are your aims for this season, both personally and for the club?
Personally I want to hit thirty goals and keep myself fit. For the team, I want us to win as many trophies possible!