The faces will be familiar, but it will be an totally different footballing experience for Aaron Dunsmore after he rejoined Edinburgh City on a six-month loan from Hibs this week ahead of Saturday’s trip to Elgin.
Dunsmore spent the final six months of last season on loan at Meadowbank, helping City on their way to a second successive Lowland League title and an historic promotion to the SPFL following Pyramid Play-Off wins over Cove Rangers and East Stirlingshire respectively.
Having enjoyed such success last time around, it was no surprise he was keen to make the short hop back to Meadowbank from Easter Road.
“I had a couple of offers from other teams at a similar level, but nothing concrete so I felt City was the right move for me,” revealed the 20-year-old. “It’s in the city, there’s not a lot of travelling and obviously League Two football as well. It’s going to be good for my education. There was a lot of interest from Gary [Jardine] having known me from last year, so I was happy to go there again. Going on loan again was my best chance of getting more first-team football and probably the best decision for me.
“Winning the league and getting promotion was probably the biggest achievement of my career. As a youth player, you don’t really get a lot of chances to play in cups and tournaments, so to go up with City is up there with anything I’ve done in my career.
“It’s an attacking set-up Gary likes to play and there’s a lot of good boys here who helped me settle in the last time, and few experienced heads as well who helped.”
The right-back followed that up with first team football upon his return to Easter Road. Neil Lennon picked Dunsmore in three of his five pre-season friendly squads, including a starting berth in the 1-0 victory over Birmingham at Easter Road. While delighted to be involved, Dunsmore was keen for more regular, competitive game time with a year left to run on his contract.
“It was good to get a few games against Birmingham and other good teams,” he said. “It was good in that it gave a me taste of more first team football at a higher level. I not really spoken to the gaffer, but the plan is to go on loan, hopefully do really well and give him food for thought come January.”
One of those pre-season appearances included a return to Meadowbank as a strong Hibs team beat their neighbours 6-1, an unusual experience for Dunsmore. “It was quite strange playing against the guys I’d played with the previous year,” he explained. “I don’t think Edinburgh City did themselves justice to be honest – they’re much better than they showed, which their performances in the Betfred Cup and other friendlies proved.
“I think we have enough to stay in League Two. People will write us off, but I think we can be just outside the play-offs. Not many will see us being that high up the table, but honestly think we can do really well. I don’t think we’re just there to make the numbers up, but we’re in League Two with real intent and hopefully if we have a good first half of the season, the players who are here after January can push on.”
Fellow Hibs kid Ryan Porteous is another temporary addition to Jardine’s squad, and one Dunsmore rates. “He’s not an old-fashioned centre half, but he’s a centre half who likes to get his foot in,” he said. “He can really defend – he’s been a good player for the under-17s at Hibs and he’s played a few development team games last year. I was very impressed with him. I think the City fans will enjoy what he’s got to offer.”
Dunsmore is also reunited with close pal and fellow Musselburgh boy Neil Martyniuk, signed from St. Johnstone in the summer. “We played with each other at Hibs too so it’ll good to link up with him again,” he added. “It’ll be quite weird playing with my pal. We went to the same primary school and the same high school, so we’re very close. Hopefully that’ll help us in the Edinburgh City team.”