His modelling career was certainly more glamorous than his footballing CV.
Nevertheless, while Scotland once again remain at home during a World Cup, Allan Russell will be mixing it with the great and the good in Russia this summer.
To say the Glaswegian will be flying the flag for his country may be stretching things a little too far, however.
Allan Russell jetted out for the World Cup as part of Gareth Southgate’s backroom team
As part of Gareth Southgate’s backroom team, there may be some north of the border who’ll be hoping his work doesn’t bear too much fruit.
The 37-year-old flew out with his employers on Tuesday, having been added to the staff prior to England’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Glasgow last year.
But what, exactly, is this former journeyman pro – who garnered no international recognition during his career – doing there?
Russell describes himself as the ‘world’s No 1 individual striker coach’ on his website and has also had the likes of Saido Berahino and Andre Gray as clients.
Now, he is working closely with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling as England look to make an impression in Russia.
He is, in fact, no stranger to working with big names. Indeed, during his part-time modelling career he accompanied pop megastar Christina Aguilera on to the stage at MTV Video Music Awards in Edinburgh back in 2003. Wearing just a kilt, of course.
He never reached such giddy heights during his playing days, however.
Russell was in Rangers’ youth set-up until 1997 but began his senior career at Hamilton before moving on to St Mirren before spells at Macclesfield, Mansfield and Forest Green south of the border.
Russell (right) describes himself as the ‘world’s No 1 individual striker coach’ on his website
He enjoyed a modest scoring record and returned to Scottish football with Partick Thistle in 2007 before one prolific season with Airdrie – 26 goals in 43 games – saw him win the Player of the Year award in the Second Division and earn a move to Kilmarnock.
Russell had two years at Rugby Park until 2010 when he moved to the US and played for Carolina RailHawks and Orange County Blues for four years until 2016.
Now, having retired, his career is in ascendancy. On his website, Russell explains he uses ‘intricate statistics combined with detailed match and training analysis to strategise a complete striker training programme’.
Asked by Sky Sports about his work, Russell said: ‘I assess them (strikers).. As soon as they come in, I know what’s wrong with the body mechanics, if their balance is right, if their technique is good enough.
‘Is their standing foot far enough forward when they strike the ball? Are they connecting with the right part of the ball? How are they rotating their hips?’
It seems to be like a golf coach working on a swing – and it certainly impressed Southgate enough to bring him on board.
Perhaps one area he didn’t mention, however, was penalties. But if the world’s No 1 individual striker coach can’t help you find the net from 12 yards, surely no one can?
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.