Ali Crawford on testing himself in England and settling in at Doncaster Rovers
Comparing the standards of English and Scottish football has long provoked debate.
Just where would a Scottish Premiership side rank south of the border?
One may expect a Scottish native would vehemently defend the honour of his country’s version of the beautiful game.
But for Rovers new boy Ali Crawford, his assessment of the difference in standards is what drove his desire to head down the A1 for the next stage of his career.
“I just feel that it’s a better standard down here,” he told the Free Press.
“You like to get the ball down and play so I think that’ll suit me better than having balls sailing over my head in Scotland.
“Hopefully that’ll happen and I’ll have a good season.
“I’ve always wanted to come down to England and see how I get on.
“Hopefully it’s a challenge I can really take on.
“It’ll take time for me to get used to the tempo and standard down here.
“I feel I’ve acquitted myself well in the games so hopefully I can build on that and continue it throughout the season.”
The 27-year-old spent his entire professional career with Hamilton so leaving the club was not an easy decision.
But he says his new team mates have made moving south a much easier experience.
“It’s been surprisingly better than I thought,” he said.
“The boys have been brilliant with me, asking me to go out for coffees.
“They’ve helped me settle in really well.
“Now I’ve got a house down here, hopefully that’ll be me settled and I can enjoy my playing.
“My girlfriend will move down eventually but she’s got a job up the road so she’ll have to work her notice.”
Crawford says he was attracted by the move to Rovers because of the attacking style of football boss Grant McCann intends to play.
The midfielder is a creative force, mixing excellent distribution with an eye for goal and superb dead ball delivery, which was seen in his first pre-season for Rovers.
And he feels he will thrive in McCann’s ultra-aggressive, attacking system this season.
“It kind of suits me because I’m an attack-minded player,” Crawford said.
“I’m not sure how the defence feels about it.
“I’m sure we’ll score a lot of goals this season.
“Hopefully we can get a few wins along the way and entertain the fans.
“It’s always good to have pace in front of you and that’s what we’ve got here.
“If you’re struggling you can lift the ball over the top and the front three can make a chance of it.”