New Edinburgh City signing Liam Henderson is no stranger to life at the foot of Ladbrokes League Two, but believes his new club will start moving up the table sooner rather than later.
He joined last month on a short-term loan deal from Falkirk, and made his debut in last Saturday’s goalless home draw with bottom, and former club, Cowdenbeath.
Henderson spent the second half of last season on loan at Central Park, and netted the winning penalty as The Blue Brazil came through a tense Pyramid Play-Off final against Lowland League champions East Kilbride.
He is likely to be involved again as James McDonaugh’s team head north to take on Peterhead, and Henderson hopes a positive result will lead to more.
“I think a couple of goals and a win will shoot us in the right direction,” he said. “Training’s buzzing and there’s a good vibe about the camp at the minute, so it’s really just down to us to win a game. We had a few chances last Saturday and a couple we maybe should have scored, but aside from that it’s been going well.
“It was good to get 90 minutes and get back playing competitive football. I did my hamstring not that long ago and I was out for about eight weeks. Then it was just a case of back playing 20s games so I wanted to get out and start playing competitive games, then the gaffer asked me along.
“That was my first 90 minutes for a while but another couple of games and I should be back to full sharpness – no excuses.”
Henderson’s previous experience of the division should stand him in good stead. “A few people were reminding me that I was on loan there last season because we were playing Cowden,” he explained. “A lot of the fans were shouting at me etc, which was funny, but I know this league pretty well, yeah.
“There’s probably a big difference in Edinburgh City from last season though – they had a lot of loan players so there’s a lot of different faces. I think we’re on the right track though this year. We’re more organised and there’s a good set-up about us. Obviously it’s not been the best start but now the new gaffer’s come in I think we’re going the right way.”
McDonaugh is of course a familiar face to Henderson from the Falkirk Stadium, alongside fellow Bairns loanee Scott Shepherd. “It was easy to come in with James in charge, but mainly down to the welcome I’ve had off the boys – they’re great,” he said. “Obviously I was with James at Falkirk so I know what training is all about.
“Scotty was telling me to get along as well. I know how he plays so hopefully I can set him up with a few goals!”
The pedigree of the squad Gary Jardine and latterly McDonaugh have assembled was another pull for Henderson. “People were telling before I arrived that there’s a lot of good players here,” he said. “They’ve played at a high level and know the leagues well. There’s a lot of experience and it’s just about delivering on a Saturday now.
“Training is a really good tempo. Sometimes when you go from full-time to part-time you t think the training isn’t going to be as good, but it’s excellent and I really enjoy it.”
Henderson’s versatility could prove a useful tool for McDonaugh. Utilised as a left wing-back against Cowdenbeath, the 21-year-old can also play across the back or midfield. “We worked on it during the week,” he explained. “It’s not my strongest position, but he said he trusts me to go and do a job there.
“I like to see myself going forward more so midfield is probably my strongest position. I’ve been playing in defence a lot this season and last so I just need to see where the gaffer wants to play; I’ll play anywhere to be honest, wherever the gaffer sees me, I’ll play there.”
Henderson’s future at Falkirk is yet to be decided, but rather than looking too far ahead, the former Hearts youngster is focused on playing regularly rather than what may happen further down the line.
“My Falkirk contract is up at the end of the season so I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.
“I just need to get my head down, work hard and who knows what happens from there.”