What about Bob?

Brisbane Roar’s big Scottish defender BOB MALCOLM arrived with force in round one. So we thought we’d get to know a bit more about him…

Do a search on the internet for Bob Malcolm and you-ll find an interesting mix of stories. The defender was certainly a well-known name in the Scottish Premier League, where he played for Rangers from 1997 to 2006 and last season with Motherwell, and he certainly didn-t make many friends with rivals Celtic. But after 12 years of professional football in Scotland and England, Malcolm decided it was time for a change scenery.

That-s where former teammate Craig Moore came in. Malcolm called his former captain at Rangers to ask about the Hyundai A-League and a possible move to Australia. A word with coach Frank Farina and a one-year deal was put to the Scot, with him arriving in June for a fitness test.

“I just wanted a change, to be honest,” Malcolm says. “I-ve played in Scotland and England most of my career and I just wanted a change, something different and wanted to play in a different country. It was a good opportunity to come here and obviously the all-year round good weather helps.

“I spoke to Craig [Moore] before I came and he said it-s a great city and a good football team and that was a big part in the decision to come here.”

Moore isn-t the only former Rangers man Malcolm has joined with at Brisbane, with 2009 Foreign Player of the Year Charlie Miller also at the club with him for two years. The two have helped him settle quickly in the Queensland capital and he-s says there aren-t too many differences between the leagues, but there are more adjustments still to be made.

With the Hyundai A-League being played through the Australian summer, being based north of the border could prove the toughest adjustment of all.

”I-m coping OK just now,” Malcolm says with a laugh. “I don-t really have too much choice playing in the sun, but I think I-d rather play in humidity and sunshine.

“I have about a month to go before the summer kicks in, so I can spend the next month so I can acclimatise a bit more.”

Most Hyundai A-League fans were introduced to Bob Malcolm as the Roar player wrapped around Shane Smeltz in the dying stages of the Queensland derby in round one. Players from both teams erupted as Smeltz struggled to get out of what looked to be a pretty strong headlock from Malcolm. Despite both clubs being fined for the scuffle, the defender says there wasn-t much in it and it was all left on the field.

“It was just handbags really. We went for the same ball and Smeltzy landed on top of me and I was trying to get him off and for some reason it ended up being physical.

“There really was nothing in there and it was just a bit of a laugh - well, it wasn-t a laugh and a joke - but there really was nothing there. It was just a stupid thing.”

The melee may not have surprised those who knew a little about Malcolm before his debut. He left Scotland with somewhat of a “bad boy” reputation, after a few incidents caused headlines for the wrong reasons (including signing an autograph in Glasgow with a widely recognised sectarian slur). But the tough centre-back insists any past indiscretions were the things of youthful stupidity and not something that should follow him to Australia.

“I did a couple of stupid things when I was younger and I don-t know why, just for the perception of being a bad boy,” he explains. “I don-t know, I think it-s just a bit of Scottish press, writing bad stories when there-s nothing in them.

“That happened when I was 22, 23, maybe five, six years ago and people still bring it up. So I-m old enough and big enough now to… kick on now and do as well as I can for Brisbane Roar.”

Malcolm hopes his performances will impress those at Brisbane and want to sit down with Farina in a few months to extend his deal. Still working to achieve full match fitness, this Sunday against Wellington Phoenix is another chance for that and he can do so in front of the passionate Suncorp crowd. After a disappointing draw away to Melbourne last week, they-ll be looking to secure all three points for the first time this season.

“We were disappointed not to get the win in Melbourne, so it-s a good chance at home on Sunday to go and get the three points, and I think that-s what all the boys are looking at.

“The fans have been great and we had a good number (there), so hopefully we can carry that on for the season.”

It-s likely everyone will be watching for big Bob Malcolm at the back.