“My first club was Blackburn Rovers,” says Staggies striker, Craig Curran. “I was there for five years as a kid before joining League One side, Tranmere Rovers, as a trainee. That’s where it really took off for me. Tranmere have a really good reputation for bringing through young players and I started training with the first team when I was 16 under Brian Little before Ronnie Moore gave me my debut at 17.”
“I had some good times at Tranmere but after four years I moved to Carlisle United. That was a great time of my career, too. We won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley in 2011, beating Brentford 1-0. That was a special day as all my family and friends were there. It was a dream come true to lift a trophy at Wembley.”
County come calling
“I later went on loan to Morecambe before permanent moves to Rochdale then Limerick in Ireland. The move to Ireland was really good for me. I had been out through injury and illness for quite a while so it was good to start playing regularly again. My manager there was Stuart Taylor, the former Ross County player.
“It was really through him that I came to the attention of Ross County. They were looking to add a striker to the squad in the January 2015 transfer window and I was a free agent at the time.”
Hello (again) Highlands
“I actually knew quite a bit about Ross County before I came up. Funnily enough my family has been coming up to spend Christmas in the Highands for quite a few years and love it up here. So I knew the lay of the land and that County had been to the Scottish Cup final and had a couple of good seasons in the Ladbrokes Premiership. But I didn’t really know what to expect from the set-up
“When I came up to sign I was just thinking about playing football but when I saw the professionalism here and how everything is run at the Club I thought it was unbelievable. I would be surprised if there are many better set-ups in the UK anywhere outside the English Premier League.”
The AC Milan connection
“County has been a brilliant move for me personally. I would say it is probably the most enjoyable spell of my career. What’s been good too is that Martin Woods has put me in touch with an excellent multi-disciplinary clinic down in England. They have helped me finally get to the bottom of all my injury problems, which led to me missing a whole season for Carlisle.
“I’d seen every doctor and specialist going back then but no-one could get to the bottom of it but when I saw Martin’s guy, weirdly, the specialist got me fitted with a mouthpiece which has helped realign my whole body.
“The science behind it is based on the famous MilanLab that AC Milan use which is at the forefront of sports science. Their techniques enabled Paulo Maldini to play until he was 41 and helped extend the careers of David Beckham and Clarence Seedorf.
“So coming to County and meeting Woodsy must have been meant to be! I think as we go into the second half of the season I will be in the best physical shape I have been in since my early 20s. I’m looking forward to it and I will be working hard to score more goals and work on other parts of my game too.”
“On the pitch I have really enjoyed my time at Ross County so far. I’ve formed a good partnership with Liam Boyce – we bounce off each other. We have both been working hard to improve since we came to the Club. But there are two other lads who want to take our spots so it keeps you on your toes because no-one here is guaranteed a start. You just have to keep performing when you get your chance. ”
“From a personal point of view I just want to keep on improving and scoring goals. I do set myself personal targets for different things, not just goals but all aspects of my game. The head knock I got earlier in the season means those have been on hold so now I am getting back playing again I will be reassessing my targets.”
“I think a top six finish in the league is more than achievable for this Club. When you look at the players we’ve got and the talent in the squad and the hunger and desire that I witness every day in training – it’s frightening.
“Regarding the League Cup, I’d 100 per cent like to lift a major trophy at Hampden and think we are more than capable of doing it. That would even top lifting the trophy at Wembley with Carlisle.”