Matty Tough is a name that aptly describes the Keith striker who has been scoring goals for fun in the Highland League this season. The 23-year-old has netted 15 times in 12 games, making him the league’s top scorer and helping his team climb to fourth place in the table. But his journey to the top has not been easy, as he has faced several challenges and setbacks along the way.
From Aberdeen to Keith
Matty Tough started his football career at Aberdeen, where he joined the youth academy at the age of nine. He progressed through the ranks and signed a professional contract with the Dons in 2021. However, he found it hard to break into the first team, and was loaned out to various clubs, including Montrose, Peterhead, and Cove Rangers.
He returned to Aberdeen in 2022, hoping to impress the new manager, but he was released at the end of the season. He then joined Keith, a club that had finished bottom of the Highland League in the previous campaign, and was looking for a fresh start under new boss Andy Roddie.
A new challenge
Matty Tough saw Keith as a new challenge and an opportunity to prove himself. He quickly settled in at the club and formed a lethal partnership with fellow striker Cammy Keith, who is also the club’s captain and record goalscorer. The duo have scored 27 goals between them this season, making them the most prolific pair in the league.
Matty Tough attributes his success to his hard work, determination, and confidence. He said: “I always believed in myself and my ability. I just needed a chance to show what I can do. Keith gave me that chance and I’m grateful for that. I work hard every day in training and in games, and I try to learn from the experienced players around me, especially Cammy. He’s a legend at this club and a great mentor for me.”
He also praised his manager, Andy Roddie, for his support and guidance. He said: “Andy has been brilliant with me. He’s given me a lot of freedom and trust on the pitch, and he’s always encouraging me and giving me positive feedback. He’s also helped me improve my game, especially my movement and finishing. He’s a great manager and a great person.”
A bright future
Matty Tough has caught the eye of many observers with his impressive performances and goalscoring exploits. He has been named the Highland League Player of the Month for October and November, and has been linked with a move to higher-level clubs, such as Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County.
However, he insists that he is happy at Keith and is focused on helping the club achieve its goals. He said: “I’m enjoying my football at Keith and I’m not thinking about anything else. We have a good team and a good spirit, and we want to challenge for the league title and the cups. We have a big game against Brora Rangers on Saturday, and that’s all that matters to me right now.”
Matty Tough is a young player with a bright future ahead of him. He has overcome adversity and shown resilience and character. He has also shown talent and flair, and scored some spectacular goals. He is a striker who is living up to his name, and making a name for himself in the Highland League.