Former Rangers midfielder Jamie Barjonas has explained his decision to join Kelty Hearts earlier this month, a ‘staggering’ move that baffled many supporters [The Courier].
Barjonas posted an emotional message on Instagram revealing that he would be leaving Ibrox and around a week later, it was confirmed that he would be joining Kelty.
The 22-year-old made nine first-team appearances for Rangers and spent time on loan at several SPFL Championship sides, so it came as a shock that he had signed for a club that have only just been promoted to the Scottish fourth tier.
He says the presence of his former youth team coach Kevin Thomson at New Central Park was the key factor, though.
“I actually texted Kev to congratulate him on the job and we just got into a conversation about a few things – he told me that he would love to have me here,” Barjonas explained [The Courier]. “When you have someone who you’ve played under before, knows you and values you — that’s all you want.”
“I know the gaffer well from Rangers and I get on really well with Kev. I’ve never enjoyed my football more than when I was playing under Kevin Thomson. He’s a great manager, has real ambition and he knows what he wants.
“Kelty Hearts are also a club with great ambition and this is a chance to get back to my best and play as regularly as possible. I want to enjoy myself again, basically. This is the best place for me. Now, it’s all down to me to repay him.”
There’s little doubt that the former Ger has the ability to shine higher up the Scottish footballing pyramid.
However, in his defence, he’s had a disrupted few seasons and footballers aren’t robots.
Sometimes the environment takes precedence over the level and it’s clear that he wanted to play under a familiar face after the difficult experience of leaving a club he’d been at for many years.
Kelty may have only just got to the SPFL but they’ll be aiming for promotion straight away and it’ll be interesting to see how Barjonas performs in the fourth tier.
He isn’t the only former Ger to make an unexpected move this summer, with another signing a one-year deal with a Cypriot club.