David Martindale has spoken of his pride at seeing Scott Pittman thrive at Livingston as the midfielder prepares to become the club’s record appearance holder this weekend.
Pittman drew level with Keaghan Jacobs on 309 games for the club last weekend, and will become the outight record holder if, as expected, he plays away at Motherwell on Saturday.
Livingston manager Martindale was a teammate of Pittman’s at Broxburn Athletic, and revealed that he had pushed to get the player an opportunity at Livingston in 2015. He said it had been a pleasure watching him grab that chance and become a club stalwart.
“I’m extremely proud of wee Pitts,” said Martindale. “I’m a good friend of his family and I know they’re very proud of him. I tried on a number of occasions to get him into clubs when we were playing together at Broxburn.
“I was centre-mid and wee Pitts was an attacking mid at that point. He did my running and I did his shouting! We got him into a few clubs and got them to have a look at him.
“Then when I’d been at Livingston for about six months (as a coach) I said ‘look, how can we get him into the club?’. Mark Burchill was the manager and Burchy wasn’t overly sure at the time and I said ‘by the end of the summer, if you don’t think it’s going to be a good fit, wee Pitts will not be hard to deal with, we’ll shake hands and we’ll all move on’.
“I think he’d been at the club three or four weeks and got in the team and Burchy was like ‘brilliant’, and he never came back out the team under any manager who’s been here since.”
Pittman said that it would be special to take the record and was quick to credit Martindale with helping him on his way.
“I’ve been here seven and a half years and to play that amount of games is a good achievement for me,” he said.
“It’s been the perfect club for me. I’m really grateful to Davie. When I was playing with Broxburn, I had a few trials at teams but nothing really came of them. The gaffer got me the chance here and I’ve just tried to take it.”
And Livingston boss Martindale stressed that it wasn’t just the number of games that made Pittman an asset, but the high standards he kept to in every match.
“He’s brilliant, fantastic,” said the manager. “His level of consistency is his biggest factor. When Pitts has a bad game, he’s probably a seven out of ten but most weeks he’s probably an eight or nine out of ten.
“He puts the team before himself, to his detriment at times. If he’s fit, he’s generally one of the first names on the team sheet.
“He’s one of those players who goes about his business quietly. He probably goes a bit unnoticed by a lot of people, but if you went into the changing room or the staff office and asked what their strongest team was, I think wee Pitts would be one of the few players in every single person’s team in this building.”
Meanwhile Livingston have signed goalkeeper Jack Hamilton on a two-year deal.
The 28-year-old former Hearts, Dundee and Morton player has been recruited to compete with Shamal George and Ivan Konovalov following the departure of Max Stryjek to Wycombe earlier this week.
Martindale said: “Jack has been in training with us for a few weeks now and looking really good. I know he had a top season at Morton last season and he had a few offers to stay in the Championship.
“I have been impressed with him since he has been in at the club and I’m delighted to get a deal over the line.”