ROBERT Tiropoulos admits his decision to leave Clydebank was one of the hardest he’s ever had to make, writes David Brockett.

The goalkeeper has been restricted to 16 appearances across two spells spanning four seasons with the Bankies and concedes the time is right to move on.

He said: “It wasn’t a decision I wanted to have to make, but I just need to play regular football. I actually asked away in December but I ended up staying to help out, but 15 months is a long time to be sitting on the bench week in, week out knowing that chances are you’re not going to be playing.”

When previous boss Budgie McGhie left the club in December, Tiropoulos was named as part of the interim backroom team alongside chairman Gordon Robertson and under-19 coaches Paul Mooney and Scott Carson.

He added: “Budgie leaving came as a pretty big shock to us all and caught us all off guard. As one of the more senior players, I offered my support to Gordon and to win both games was brilliant. I’ve not played as much as I’ve wanted to, so the interim period is definitely one of my stand-out memories. When you’re not playing it’s easy not to experience the same buzz, but being involved on the touchline brought it back.”

Tiropoulos had been kept out of the team by former Dumbarton stopper Josh Lumsden, who has secured the number one jersey at the Bankies.

He added: “I couldn’t argue with Josh having the gloves, and without any disrespect to anyone at the club, he’s destined to go on to bigger things. Senior clubs will be looking at him, so in that respect I have no complaints. He is really professional and just works so hard – he’s a perfectionist.

The 31-year-old hasn’t decided where his immediate future lies, but despite his brief coaching role Tiropoulos insists his focus is to continue his playing career.

Tiropoulos said: “I don’t have anything sorted just yet. I’m getting married soon and then we have our honeymoon so it’s been difficult to tie something down, but I’ll go and assess my options and hopefully have it sorted soon.

“Everyone at the club has been so supportive and treated me with complete respect.

“I know there’s a 95 per cent chance that wherever I end up, it’s not going to be the same. It’s the things you don’t get at other clubs: the sweets in the dressing room, the kit ready for you and the media coverage that make you feel important and contribute to a strong dressing room.

“The whole set up is so professional.”