Peterhead manager Jim McInally is delighted that Jack Brown and Owen Cairns are such willing pupils and have used recent disappointments as part of their education in senior football.
Brown who joined the Blue Toon in January from Highland League Rothes on a two-and-a-half-year contract announced himself on the senior stage by starting and grabbing the winner against Falkirk on March 26 only to find himself on the bench against Clyde last Saturday.
Balmoor boss McInally explained the reasons behind the move by saying: “I was disappointed not to play Jack from the start at Broadwood. It was a bit harsh on him not to play after doing so well the week before.”
“However, Andy McCarthy has been very good for us in the second half of the season and he was available again after a ban. I wanted to start him in midfield.”
“Simon Ferry had said to leave him out and play Jack but that was not the right thing to do as we needed Simon’s experience on the pitch. Clyde had just brought in a new player who scored a hat-trick in a midweek game and the goals came from him playing behind their main striker.”
“Having Simon playing just in front of our defence gave us extra protection. Simon also kept us ticking over. As well as protecting the defence he gives the other midfielders a bit of security when he came on and when you look back at the game Grant Savoury got forward and scored twice, Hamish Ritchie grabbed the other goal with Andy and Scott Brown also having shots on goal.”
“Jack came on and did well in the last 20 minutes. He knows that being on the bench on Saturday was purely tactical and that he has a big part to play between now and the end of the season.”
Cairns is on loan from Fraserburgh and with the full-back out of contract with the Highland League title-chasers come the summer, the temporary period has been viewed by some as an excellent opportunity for both parties to get to know each other before a new campaign begins.
The 23-year-old has perhaps been trying too hard to impress as Jim explained: “We had to have a word with Owen after the Alloa game as he was being a bit too fancy-dan during it.”
“He missed out against Falkirk but we said to him when he went on against Clyde to be a good defender first and foremost. Anything after that was a bonus and he delivered on both fronts as it was a terrific cross for Grant’s second goal.”
“I do not think he did anything wrong during that performance. He showed great energy which is no surprise as his fitness and enthusiasm is terrific.”
“Playing in League 1 week in, week out is a step up for these boys. They need assistance to be educated in senior football, which we are providing, and they are desperate to learn which is pleasing.”