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Klos texts praise for hot-shot goalkeeper

GOODNESS knows what it says about the standard of programmes on Swiss television, but one day last year Stefan Klos found himself watching the Ramsdens Cup final.

Lee Robinson scores for Queens in last year's final against Partick Thistle. Picture: Jeff Holmes/SNS
Lee Robinson scores for Queens in last year's final against Partick Thistle. Picture: Jeff Holmes/SNS

The former Rangers goalkeeper, a Zurich resident since retiring in 2007, may have had his interest piqued when he realised that in goals for Queen of the South against Partick Thistle was Lee Robinson, his erstwhile Ibrox team-mate.

Robinson would go on to have something of an eventful match, saving a penalty with only two minutes remaining in extra time, conceding an equaliser a minute later, then emerging as the hero in the subsequent shoot-out, when he saved Thistle's first and last penalties. So impressive were his endeavours that Klos was moved to dig out his mobile phone and send his old chum a congratulatory message.

"Stefan was someone I was close with," revealed Robinson. "He still sends me an odd message here and there. After the Ramsdens Cup final last year he was in touch by text. It was great to get a message from him - someone who has been at the top of the game.

"I learned a lot from him, even though we are different types of goalies. He's one of the nicest people you could meet - it's rare in football to meet someone so genuine and down to earth. He's done everything in the game - winning the Champions league and playing with [Borussia] Dortmund.

"He was a hero at Rangers and it's nice to see someone do so well for themselves and stay the same person they've always been. He was a great guy and a brilliant goalie.

"He was never bothered with all the things that come with being a footballer - and sometimes that's the best way to be. I like that attitude: he's low profile, and that sums him up. I'm not sure what he does now, but I'm sure he won't be struggling!"

Robinson has endured something of a peripatetic career since leaving Rangers in rather unhappy fashion. There were various loan spells, a short and unsuccessful stay with Kilmarnock, three years with Queens, another brief stint earlier this season in Sweden with Ostersunds, before moving to Raith Rovers in February.

"There was even a five-month spell when he didn't have a club, training every day in the gym while considering his options. Now 27 years old, he admits he hasn't always made the most of his career.

"My first three years at Rangers couldn't have gone better and then the next three were a disappointment, which was down to me," he added. "I think you learn more in the bad times, so in a way it's been good for me. You learn and mature even if it's hard at the time.

"I struggled for the last two-and-a-half years at Rangers and then I had five months without playing after I left Kilmarnock. I just got myself fit and worked in the gym. I was down in Sunderland and spent time with my family and it did me good.

"It's a bit out the norm - but I didn't say I'd have six months off, it just worked out that way. I may have been a bit impatient. I was 20 years old and thinking I should be playing, when in truth I was miles away from it. You think that, but it's not the case.

"You shouldn't want to walk away from the game, because it's a good life, but those five months were good for me. Financially, it was hard, but I was back with my family and while it wasn't the best it was not too bad."

Now another Ramsdens Cup final awaits this Sunday, his new club Raith taking on his former club Rangers. He could be in the spotlight again if the match goes the distance, but he played down talk of him being a spot-kick expert,

"I don't want a reputation as a penalty saver, just as a good goalie," he added. "In the past I couldn't save them - I had a few 13-12 shootouts where I went the wrong way all the time. That was when I was younger, but since then I've had a tip that's helped me. I won't tell you what it is - it might be a lot of rubbish, but it has helped me."

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