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Bizarre injury left Elgin City footballer Fin Allen with no feeling in his lower legs but first senior goal on loan at Highland League Huntly puts teenager on road to recovery


By Craig Christie



Rated as one of Elgin City's rising young stars, Fin Allen was struck down by an injury which left him without feeling in his lower legs.

Fin Allen has clocked up nearly 50 first team appearances for Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Fin Allen has clocked up nearly 50 first team appearances for Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Having made his first team debut aged 16, the youngster went on to make almost 50 appearances before a mystery problem started affectimng his blood flow.

"As I was playing, usually 30 minutes into a game my feet and everywhere below my knees went numb and I couldn’t feel my feet or my calves.

"I wasn’t getting regular blood flow into my calves," he described.

Fin Allen in action for Elgin City before his injury problems developed.
Fin Allen in action for Elgin City before his injury problems developed.

Diagnosed as compartment syndrome, the condition kept Allen out of action for a year and required surgery.

Now he is on the road to recovery, and celebrating by scoring his first senior goal after being loaned out by City to Highland League Huntly to gain important match minutes.

Fin Allen in action for Huntly at Fraserburgh. Photo: Derek Lowe
Fin Allen in action for Huntly at Fraserburgh. Photo: Derek Lowe

"The operation itself was on both calves," he said. "It was cutting through five layers of fascia and they were saying it was like playing with my legs wrapped in cling film.

"It wasn’t great but the operation definitely has helped because I’ve had no numbness since. Fingers crossed it stays that way and I get back to regular football."

Back on the road to recovery - Fin Allen.
Back on the road to recovery - Fin Allen.

After being gently eased back into action by Huntly manager Colin Charlesworth, Allen (19) made his first start for the club last week and scored his first-ever senior goal - as well as providing an assist - in a 4-2 win at Nairn County.

"I’ve been out for six or seven months and it’s really tough to get going but Huntly have been really good.

"(Elgin manager) Allan Hale has that relationship with Coco (Huntly boss Charlesworth), and keeps in contact and he is always updating him on how I’m getting on.

Fin Allen hopes to return to Elgin City next season, strengthened by his Highland League spell at Huntly. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Fin Allen hopes to return to Elgin City next season, strengthened by his Highland League spell at Huntly. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

"It was just about building up minutes to start with so for the first few games it was 10, 15 minutes and building that up.

"This (Nairn game) was my first start in near enough a year so getting back into it is going to take some time but it was great to grab a goal and an assist as well."

He fired home a shot from the edge of the box to put Huntly 2-0 up at Station Park, then produced a cheeky back-heel nutmeg on an opponent to set up Andy Hunter for Huntly's third goal.

Allen started the game after regular striker Angus Grant picked up a knock, while another player on the Christie Park club's injury list is Fin's older brother Brodie, who has been at Huntly for the past two years.

Fin Allen debuted for Elgin City's first team at the age of 16. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Fin Allen debuted for Elgin City's first team at the age of 16. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Another of the Allen brothers, Harry, has just signed for Lossiemouth United juniors, yet the three siblings have never played in the same team in a competitive match.

Fin knows the time will come soon when he gets the chance to feature alongside Brodie (26) for the first time, and hopes there won't be family rivalry for the same position.

"This is the first time I’ve played in a team with any of my brothers," Fin said. "We used to have a kick about together but never a competitive game with each other. I have played against them but never with.

"Brodie has been really good. I wasn’t sure going there (to Huntly) in case I was taking his position and getting game time ahead of him but he’s been really good, as have so many of the Huntly players who have been very welcoming and good to get on with.

"Huntly’s forward line is really strong, with Andy Hunter’s goal-to-game so impressive and Angus Grant has been in really good form but he was struggling with a knock last Wednesday so I was the replacement.

"Brodie has been struggling with an injury. As soon as I signed they had a training session on the Saturday and he went over his ankle and tore a few ligaments so he has been out for four weeks - but he is hoping to be able to play against Strathspey (this weekend)."

That game could see the brothers united on the field for the first time.

Fin is determined to get as many minutes as possible at Huntly, then return to Elgin next season feeling the benefit of some competitive football at a good level.

"I’ve been at Elgin City since I was five or six, I attended all the community stuff before that and went through every age group in the youth system and a first team debut at 16, but I haven’t been the luckiest with injuries since," he said.

Since that debut as a sub against Arbroath in July 2021, the forward has made ten starts and 38 sub appearances for the Black and Whites but hasn't played for them since last May.

"The plan is to go out and get the match fitness and continue over the end of the season, keep my fitness levels as high as I can and then go back and push for a start with Elgin."


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