PFA Scotland exit trials: Jordan Moore eager to make his mark in Scotland

Jordan Moore is one of several unattached players at the PFA Scotland showcase initiative
Jordan Moore is one of several unattached players at the PFA Scotland showcase initiative

Jordan Moore's recent tweet summed up his progress perfectly.

"Delighted to come fifth in the Bearsden and Milngavie 10k. This time two years ago lying on a hospital bed."

It was skin cancer that had threatened a lot more than just his football career.

Now 22, the former Dundee United striker has cut short a spell playing for Limerick in the League of Ireland First Division so he can try and re-establish himself in Scotland.

"They wanted me to continue for the rest of the season but I felt it would be better to come and try and get a club in Scotland," Moore told BBC Scotland.

"Limerick are doing really well but I wanted something closer to my family. Their season finishes in October and I wouldn't be able to get a club from October until January. So I'm back, fully fit and ready to go now after three months over there.

Jordan Moore rubbed shoulders with the likes of Andrew Robertson, Ryan Gauld and John Souttar at Dundee United
Jordan Moore (second from right) rubbed shoulders with the likes of Andrew Robertson, Ryan Gauld and John Souttar at Dundee United

"I've obviously missed a lot of the last two years but now I feel 100% back. I've worked hard to get myself back into the condition I should be after the cancer.

"I rejected further treatment because if I'd had that treatment I would have had to stop. So I rejected that treatment because I wanted to play football every day - that's my life."

The Bishopbriggs-based forward has taken advantage of PFA Scotland's 10-day showcase and exit trial event to maintain his fitness and attract more admirers.

Ex-players like Mark Wilson, Lee Miller and Jim Goodwin are helping coach at the initiative and Moore is one of a number of young players hoping to catch the eye of scouts in the Broadwood stands.

"People need to be on their toes the full session," said Moore.

"There's no hiding place, because someone could walk in and say they like you in two minutes and that's you sorted for next season. There's a few heads turning to see who's in the stand but you just need to concentrate and do your best.

Jordan Moore collected a PFA Scotland Special Merit Award in 2015 following his battle against cancer
Jordan Moore collected a PFA Scotland Special Merit Award in 2015 following his battle against cancer

"We got told that Hartlepool United were coming so there's teams from League Two in England, and I'm sure most of the Scottish Championship, League One and League Two clubs will be here.

"I'm going into Raith Rovers on trial on Monday and I've got options lower down the leagues as well, so I'm not totally struggling but I just want to stay full-time as much as I can."

One of Moore's best friends in football is his former Dundee United team-mate Ryan Gauld, who moved to Sporting in Portugal for £3m in 2014.

The pair enjoyed a fruitful partnership in attack for United under-20 side and although Gauld's footballing journey has taken a more exciting path than his own, Moore is not bitter.

"I speak with him every day," said Moore, who also had loan spells at Dunfermline, Airdrie and Queen's Park earlier in his career.

"He's got all the ability in the world but he says the most important thing is working hard. He's played with Nani and people like that so if he's saying working hard is the most important thing then that's what you need to do.

Sporting's Ryan Gauld reckons working hard is more important than ability
Sporting's Ryan Gauld reckons working hard is more important than ability

"He always says that when we were in the Dundee United under-20s together it was the best strike-force he's ever played in! I need to remind him that he's playing with people who are worth £30 million, but he's still adamant. We scored 50 or 60 goals together in one season."

Moore has refused to give too much consideration to a job outside of football if things were not to work out, because of his self-belief that he can still make the grade.

But he is eager to provide support to youngsters who have gone through similar illness experiences to him.

"The main thing I'd want to do is help people who are 18 to 25 and going through cancer," Moore explained.

"I felt I dealt with it really well because I had football, but some people have got nothing to look forward to. I just want to help them and speak to them.

"Sometimes it's hard to speak to those closest to you, but better if you speak to a stranger who's been through it."