SCOTLAND has, it seems, always been a fertile breeding ground for Leeds United footballers.
This much was apparent in the Millennium poll of supporters to choose the club’s top 100 players with Billy Bremner finishing top and almost a fifth of those on the final list coming from north of the border.
Bremner was also joined by Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer and Gordon Strachan in the top 10 underlining just how pivotal a role the Scots have played in any success at Elland Road down the years.
Glasgow-born Barry Douglas is the latest Scot to wear the famous white shirt, but his route to West Yorkshire has been rather more circuitous than most.
After starting his career with Livingston, the former home of ex-Leeds player Robert Snodgrass, the full-back went on to play for Queen’s Park and Dundee United before deciding to try his luck elsewhere.
However, unlike the legions of Scots to have headed south to England, Douglas opted for Poland and Lech Poznan. Two years later he was on the move again to Turkish side Konyaspor before finally making it to the Football League in the summer of 2017 when he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“Away from football it definitely helped me grow as a person,” said the 28-year-old about his unusual career path.
“I grew up a lot, learning different cultures, different experiences, different languages, seeing different ways and the football side of things was again different philosophies to that I was used to and I think it has just helped me to have a wider knowledge of the game.”
Douglas’s wanderings prior to joining Leeds have brought plenty of honours, including a Polish league title, the Super Cup in Turkey and a winners’ medal from last season’s Championship with Wolves.
Asked if he would recommend youngsters trying their luck abroad, he replied: “I think the opportunity needs to come. It is easy just saying more British players should go abroad.
We want to achieve as much as possible, but there is no room for complacency, especially if we want to mount a serious challenge,Barry Douglas
“But they need the opportunity and if they get the opportunity then absolutely, yes, they should try it if that is what they want to do.
“It is football, it is a harsh business. So you just need to be thankful for any kind of opportunities you get.”
Douglas has made an encouraging start at Elland Road. Perfect for the system employed by Marcelo Bielsa, the left-back has already brought an added dimension to how Leeds play.
He is also missed by fans of his former club, Molineux director of football Kevin Thelwell only this week having to defend the sale publicly.
Wolves’ loss has very much been United’s gain on the evidence of the opening three weeks of the season. Douglas, however, refuses to get carried away.
“We want to achieve as much as possible, but there is no room for complacency, especially if we want to mount a serious challenge,” said the Scotland international.