For seasons 2012/13 and 2013/14 I was the official away sponsor of current Sporting Club de Portugal/ former Dundee United footballer Ryan Gauld I intended to extend my sponsorship of Ryan for a further season however following his transfer to Sporting, the sponsorship arrangement will come to an end.
Ryan played his first game for Dundee United at the tail end of the 2011/12 season at the age of 16, and established himself as a first team regular by the end of the following season, scoring his first league goal against St Johnstone. The following season saw Ryan attract the attention of a range of clubs across the UK and Europe, culminating with his transfer to Sporting Club de Portugal at the end of the 2013/14 season. Ryan has represented Scotland at Under 19 and Under 21 level and will surely force his way into the full squad for the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers.
I first heard of Ryan in 2011, not because of his potential, but because we grew up in the same area (however many years apart!), so naturally I was going to follow his progress at Dundee United. Following the uncertainty in Scottish football, brought about by the gross financial mismanagement of a side that slid into administration and then liquidation, supporters of all decent honest football clubs took it upon themselves to support their clubs in any way possible. Thus, season tickets increased at almost every club. I considered buying a season ticket at Tannadice in support of the club, however seeing as I would only be able to attend a couple of games a season, a seat would ultimately be going spare. So, the commercial team suggested that I consider player sponsorship. They offered me a number of first team players but as the stars of the team at the time, Gary Mackay-Steven, Johnny Russell, etc had been taken, I was left with the options of a reserve player, or a high potential. In the end, it was a pretty simple decision.
Here’s Ryan in action: