Peterhead have received a second boost from Tayside in the space of a week with the news that Dundee’s attacker Lyall Cameron is to return to Balmoor for a second loan spell.
Dundee United agreed last Thursday that defender Kieran Freeman could head back to the Blue Toon as soon as League 1 restarts where he will be re-joined by Cameron who bagged three goals during his 15 appearances in the first half of the season.
Peterhead manager Jim McInally said: “I am delighted to get Lyall involved with us again. He is only 18 but he wants to play first team football and he was getting that regularly with us. He has been on the bench a few times for Dundee, so he is progressing there, but another run of games with us will help make him a starter in the Dundee team next season.”
McInally is also keen to see Dens Park midfielder Josh Mulligan make an impact at Peterhead with the youngster due to return this month after an ankle injury.
Mulligan’s playing time with the Blue Toon has been brief as his debut against Dundee United last October lasted just seven minutes with McInally saying: “Hopefully Josh will be up with us soon and play a lot of football before the season ends.
Dundee United have agreed that promising defender Kieran Freeman can return to Peterhead on loan as soon as the League 1 club get back to business.
The 20-year-old started this season by making three appearances in the Tannadice first team before joining the Blue Toon in October where he made 14 appearances before being recalled when the leagues outside of the Premiership and Championship were moth-balled in January.
The Scottish Youth international, who started his career with the Terrors as a youngster before heading to Southampton in July 2016 for three and a half years returned to Tannadice a year ago on a short-term deal which was quickly extended until 2022.
Freeman played all across the back four for Peterhead as well as in midfield and McInally is delighted to have him back on board as he explained: “We started talking about this as soon as the news about the leagues restarting was mentioned. I am delighted that Dundee United have confirmed that Kieran can return as he was excellent in the first half of this campaign.”
“As well as being a really good technical player he has a real appetite for coming out on top in his individual battles which is great to see.”
McInally is also keen to speak to Dundee about Lyall Cameron who scored three times during his loan stint at Peterhead earlier this season and Josh Mulligan who is expected to return to fitness this month after an ankle injury.
Peterhead manager Jim McInally is delighted that football is due to return this month however he has concerns over the impact on his players should a extremely quick restart date be announced.
The Blue Toon squad have been training on their own for nearly two months and despite their work being tracked by fitness coach Stuart Hogg, McInally is aware that it will not be enough for a demanding two game a week end to the season.
McInally said: “I am delighted that we are starting back and so are our players however we have to ensure that what we are asking them to do is possible. As part of the plans for coming out of the first lockdown for the start of this season the Scottish FA’s Chief Medical Consultant John MacLean said that it would take four to six weeks to get players match ready.”
“I have concerns as we cannot even hold our first training session until next week as everyone needs to be tested and have had their results back. ”
“That could potentially leave players having only five training sessions to be ready for the rest of the season. It would be great to get assurances from Dr MacLean that this is acceptable.”
The Scottish FA welcomes news from the First Minister that Scottish Women’s Premier League 1 and SPFL League One and Two can return to football activity immediately.
The parameters under which that return is allowed follows discussions between the Scottish FA and representatives of each league and based on the current SPFL Premiership and Championship Joint Response Group Protocols, including a requirement to undertake PCR testing once per week.
Scottish Women’s Football Premier League 2, Highland League, Lowland League, East, West & South of Scotland Leagues, Scottish Junior FA Leagues and the North Caledonian League all remain under temporary suspension and their return to football activity will be reviewed in line with the Scottish Government’s road map out of the COVID-19 crisis.
We will continue to liaise with representatives of those leagues in the coming weeks to establish appropriate return to football protocols.
The Scottish Cup has also been given approval to resume, with all clubs in the competition given permission to participate subject to compliance with PCR testing requirements. Revised Scottish Cup fixture dates will be announced as soon as possible.
The SPFL and SWF will also update on the respective league fixture schedules in due course.
Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President: “We are pleased that the First Minister has again recognised the importance of football in Scotland. The decision to temporarily suspend parts of the professional game played by predominantly part-time teams was not an easy one to take. None the less, given the sharp rise in infection rates caused by new strains of the virus at the start of the year, it was the right thing to do to assist the national effort to reduce its prevalence during lockdown.
“The preparatory work undertaken with representatives of affected leagues and their commitment to the inclusion of weekly PCR testing, has given ministers the confidence to permit the return of SWPL 1 and SPFL League One and Two.
“While we are pleased to see the return of these leagues, there remain significant numbers unable to return to play, including the remaining levels of the professional pyramid, elite youth football, club youth football and our amateur and grassroots clubs across both the male and female game.
“We are acutely aware of the desire within those levels of football to return to playing football and we will continue to work with the Scottish Government to ensure they are able to as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Public Health and Sport: “We are aware of the importance of football, at all levels, to many people in Scotland and I’m happy that we have been able to work closely with the Scottish FA to allow the resumption of some further football activity – starting with SPFL Leagues 1 and 2, SWPL1 and clubs still in this season’s Scottish Cup.
“This could only happen alongside enhanced measures to keep everyone safe, including mandatory weekly COVID PCR tests for all players and staff.
“We continue to discuss with the Scottish FA and other stakeholders to ensure football at all levels can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.”
As outlined at the weekend by the National Clinical Director for Scotland, Professor Jason Leitch, the Scottish FA has been in regular dialogue with the Scottish Government since the temporary suspension of football was implemented on January 12.
This suspension was approved by the Board of the Scottish FA against a backdrop of increased positive cases for COVID-19 nationwide caused by new strains of the virus.
Following a meeting with the Minister for Public Health Sport and Wellbeing, Mairi Gougeon, a temporary suspension of all football was agreed, encompassing all predominantly part-time tiers of Scottish professional football: SPFL League One, SPFL League Two, Scottish Women’s Football Premier Leagues 1 & 2, Highland League, Lowland League, East, West & South of Scotland Leagues, Scottish Junior FA Leagues and the North Caledonian League.
Since then, a series of discussions have taken place via video conference with all leagues affected by the suspension, to establish the measures and protocols under which each might resume their competitions. This information has been shared with the Scottish Government and, while it has been positively received, we await a final decision from Ministers.
Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President: “We are grateful to all leagues, clubs and participants affected by the temporary suspension for their patience and understanding during this period of uncertainty. They have played their part in keeping the nation safe and restricting the potential spread of the virus.
“I would also like to thank the representatives from those leagues and clubs, who have been proactive and collaborative in giving their input into safe and sustainable plans for a to return to competition.
“These plans have already been discussed with government officials. We look forward to hearing when and in what circumstances those leagues which have been suspended can return to training and, ultimately, to playing.”