Yeovil Town have completed the signing of former Bristol City defender Jamie McAllister. The 34 year old has signed a two year contract at Huish Park after being released by the Championship side at the end of the 2011-12 season, having spent six years clocking up 210 appearances for the Robins. The left-back has been persistently on the rumourmill this summer, and so it is little surprise to find him now formalising a deal with the Glovers.
Born on April 26th 1978 in Glasgow, he spent the first ten years of his professional career playing in Scotland, playing on youth forms for Motherwell Boys Club and Bellshill Boys Club. His first pro deal came in 1996 when Queen of the South offered him a contract, giving him three years playing for the Dumfries club.
His performances for the Doonhamers were enough to get him noticed by Aberdeen, who snapped him up in 1999 for an initial fee of £85,000. He spent four seasons there, clocking up 143 appearances, before moving on a free transfer to Livingston. There he scored the vital second goal in a Scottish League Cup Final win over Hibernian in March 2004 to help the West Lothian club take home the trophy.
His last act as a Livingston player was to appear in a Scotland shirt - making a full international appearance against Trinidad and Tobago on May 30th 2004 - his one and only cap for his country, although he did get a call-up to the national squad again in October 2008.
McAllister went on to sign a two year deal with Hearts in the summer of 2004, and during the latter part of his stay at Tynecastle, he rubbed shoulders with former Glover Lee Johnson, who had moved up to Edinburgh in 2006. Eight months after Lee arrived in Scotland, his father Gary Johnson took McAllister south for the first time in his career in August 2006, which would give him a six year spell at Ashton Gate, including promotion from League One and a trip to Wembley Stadium in the Championship Play-Off Final under Johnson's reign.
Last season saw him make just 13 appearances for City, with a loan spell at Preston North End during January 2012 that included a visit to Huish Park as part of a four game spell. An ankle injury that required surgery put him out of contention for two months, causing him to slip down the pecking order at Bristol City, although he did work his way back into their line-up towards the end of the season.
He was released at the end of the 2011-12 season, and thus joins Yeovil Town as a free agent on a deal that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2014. As a left-back his experience will fill the hole left by the outgoing Nathan Jones, with the Glovers having filled that gap with a number of players - most notably Middlesbrough loanee Jonathan Grounds at the tail end of last season.
Despite his roots being firmly north of the border, McAllister said last month that he wanted to remain in the West Country, with his wife expecting twins later this year. With that in mind, he said that staying in the Bristol area was going to be important to him:
"I want to keep going for as long as possible. I would have loved to have stayed at Bristol City, because the club is close to my heart. But that was not to be and it is time to move on and open a new chapter. Because my family is settled here, I want to stay in the Bristol area. I feel as though I still have a lot to offer and I'm not ready for retirement yet. I feel as though my fitness is still good and I'd love to find another club and a new challenge."
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