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    Mark Baxter 2007/08
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    Mark Baxter 2007/08

    Q.Where were you brought up and which team did you support as a boy?

    A: I was born and brought up in Perth. I supported Celtic as a boy.

    Q.Who has had the biggest influence on your football career to date?

    A: My dad. He always encourages me. He was a good footballer himself. He played for Arbroath among others.

    Q.Who are the biggest characters you have met in football and why?

    A: Keegan Parker at St. Johnstone. He is a super personality always playing jokes. A crazy lad.

    Q.You made your debut for St. Johnstone in the SPL at 17. Tell us about your time at McDiarmid Park?

    A: Very good. I did enjoy it. I played 101 games in total and St. Johnstone also enjoyed a good cup run.

    Q.You fell out of favour at McDiarmid Park. What went wrong?

    A: Billy Stark was a good manager and gave me every encouragement to be part of the squad. When he left, John Conolly came in and put me out of the team.

    Q.How did your move to Central Park come about?

    Through Mixu really. He phoned me and asked me to come down to Central Park. After two trials, he signed me.

    Q.How have you found the move from full-time to part-time football?

    A:It was quite a shock to start with, particularly getting into the routine of night training. I also had to find a job. It took quite a while to get used to it.

    Q.Did you expect to win promotion in your first year with the club, never mind win the championship?

    A: I really didn't anticipate that Cowden would overcome the very large lead already set up early by Stenny and Berwick.

    Q.Tell us about a couple of memories that particularly stand out from that season?

    A: Getting sent off at Arbroath. It was the first time ever that I had been sent off. I also remember the disappointment of our 2 - 0 defeat at Stenhousemuir. Also how busy it was the whole season. There was the Championship winning match of course against Elgin but there was such a buzz among the team and the fans.

    Q. Talking of Arbroath what happened?

    A: The ball had gone out and the famous Smokie Pensioner threw it back hard and hit me on the face. I threw it back and grazed him. I could see the police moving into the crowd and the ref came up and asked me what happened as he had not fully seen the incident. I told him to send me off before I got lifted by the police and he obliged. I have no problem with fans giving players verbal abuse but I do have serious objections to any fan physically abusing players

    Q.How have you found life in the 2nd division?

    A: Last year after a good start it got a bit sticky. This year is different - the team are a lot better equipped and will do well.

    Q. Brian Welsh and Danny Lennon took over after Mixu’s resignation. How have you found working with Brian and Danny?

    A: We all get on very well as does the whole squad. There is a very close team spirit.

    Q. There have been a number of youth team players making their debut’s last season. How do you rate the current crop of recruits?

    A: There are some cracking players - Stephen Husband (who moved to Hearts) and Kyle Allison are just two. There is such a good youth set up and the lads are coming through well

    Q.You are clearly committed to the club and enjoy your football at Central Park. What factors have made your time at Cowden so enjoyable?

    A: This is a well run club but also a family club where the players are not just treated like workers (unlike some others that I could mention).

    Q. You were appointed club captain following the departure of Innes to make you one of Cowden’s youngest ever skippers. How do you feel about it?

    A: I got on very well with Innes and learned a lot off him. I am very aware that there are older and more experienced players in the squad like Mick Galloway but I am still learning and I love the job.

    Q.You started pre-season training about 3 week’s ahead of your rivals. How did the players react to the early start?

    A: There were few grumbles but the early start has been a big big benefit to the team. Dougie Hill didn't appreciate having to cut his holiday short!

    Q. What are your ambitions for the coming season?

    A: We have a team to get us to the play offs when as you know anything can happen.

    Q. Taking that winning the championship has been your biggest Cowden highlight? What has been your biggest disappointment in your time at Central Park?

    A:That of course (winning the Championship) and also getting capped for Scotland at youth level. No massive disappointments but Innes leaving was a big shock.

    Q. Do you have any ambitions to get into management once your playing career is over?

    A: I'll be concentrating on playing at the moment but would like to coach eventually and would certainly welcome any chance to take coaching courses.

    Q.Have you got a message for the Cowden fans?

    A: Many thanks for your support. Keep it up. All the team and management really appreciate it.