Loyalty is rare in modern-day football.
The lure of moving on to a higher wage, for regular first-team football or to be tested at a higher level is often too strong for players. Very few hang around long enough to merit a testimonial.
Terry Masson is not one such player.
Having been at Montrose almost his entire senior career, amassing 344 games in 11 years, Masson’s big game is long overdue and richly deserved.
It’s a match that would have been played last year and Masson’s testimonial committee had lined up Aberdeen to visit Links Park.
However, Covid-19 put plans on hold and he is anxiously waiting on news on the relaxation of current restrictions to confirm a new date and a new game to go alongside his testimonial dinner on November 6th.
Masson, 32, fully expects to see his career out at Montrose having penned a new two-year deal to tie him to the club until 2023 and few can argue that his dedicated service should be marked with a special game.
“I think I’ve earned a testimonial,” said Masson. “When I was speaking to the club about it I said I still wanted it to go ahead but didn’t want to rush it.
MASSON LOYALTY EARNS FURTHER CONTRACT EXTENSION
Montrose FC stalwart Terry Masson has once again, committed his future to the Club by agreeing a 2 year contract extension through to the summer of 2023. pic.twitter.com/loPEjZJaX9
— Montrose FC (@MontroseFC) May 13, 2021
“I don’t think there are a lot of players who stay at a club for as long as I have done and I want to make it a successful event.
“It would have happened by now if circumstances were different. It’s just been really unfortunate because of Covid.
“The dinner and game have both been put back by at least a year.
“I planned to have my testimonial game last pre-season but it had to be cancelled and there’s a really small chance it will go ahead this summer.
“If it doesn’t I’ll have to book it for an international weekend or in midweek but I want it to go ahead.
“I’ve still got a dinner planned for November so I’m hoping that will happen.”
Masson belongs to a core group of Montrose stars who have become mainstays of the Links Park squad over the last decade.
He has been at the heart of a midfield containing Paul Watson and Graham Webster for a number of years.
The trio have collectively completed a staggering 847 games and Masson believes their loyalty is one of the secrets to Mo’s recent successes.
Montrose have bagged three consecutive fourth place finishes in the League One since lifting the League Two title in 2018 and Masson is hungry for more glory.
“I’m absolutely delighted to sign a new deal,” added Masson. “I’ve been here 11 years but it doesn’t feel that long.
“I never imagined when I signed in 2010 that I’d be here for so long. At my level it’s quite uncommon for a player to hang around long enough to get a testimonial.
“We’re lucky to have a small group of players who have been at the club for almost as long as I have.
“I know them all really well and in the past we’ve had a really good car school to travel to training in Perth. Little things like that help.
Secret of success
“The fact that we’ve managed to keep those players for so long has been a massive reason behind our success.
“We all know one other’s strengths and you can see that in the way we fight for each other on the pitch.”
Montrose have bolstered their midfield with the arrival of former Arbroath captain Mark Whatley on a two-year deal.
Masson knows Whatley well from their Angus derby battles and believes his signature is a real coup for Montrose.
“Mark’s someone I’ve battled with over the years so he’ll have an apology to make when he comes in,” added Masson.
“We’re trying to improve every year and if we are signing players who have experience of winning the league then they are only going to improve our team.”
Meanwhile, Montrose have completed the permanent signing of former Aberdeen youngster Chris Antoniazzi until the summer of 2022 after he impressed during the League One run-in.