Edinburgh City will tonight play their first competitive game since the historic SPFL Pyramid play-off final victory over East Stirlingshire on May 14, and the Betfred Cup tie with Livingston can’t come quick enough for striker Ouzy See.
The former Tynecastle man’s last competitive outing for City came in a 3-0 win over Threave Rovers back on January 9th, netting a brace before being forced off with a knee injury.
That proved to be his final appearance of the season after an operation was required to repair the cartilage in his knee, curtailing what had been a reasonably prolific start to his City career.
Now fit again, the 21-year-old is keen to make up for lost time as City been life as a league club, starting tonight against the former Meadowbank tenants from West Lothian.
“It’s great for myself,” he said. “I’ve not played a competitive game since January so I’m really looking forward to it, and so are the boys if training the other night was anything to go by.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve done the whole of pre-season and not missed any of it, so that’s me back. I tore my knee cartilage and had to get an operation and then do all my rehab. I was lucky it wasn’t my cruciate.
“I basically had to build the muscle back up in my leg because for about two months I never put any weight on it or really did anything. I did all that and now I feel stronger and fitter than I was before.”
That lengthy absence meant it was watching brief only for See as the club made history, retaining their Lowland League title before becoming the first team to win promotion to the SPFL. Whilst obviously delighted for his teammates, he admitted it was tough not being involved.
“It was really hard,” See recalled. “I was confident the boys were going to do it without me, but I just more happy about the fact we got promotion. We just had a great run and it was amazing to just be a part of the club.”
He is now well placed to reap the rewards of that achievement. With four high-profile League Cup group games still to come, See already marked his return to action with a goal against Scottish Cup winners Hibs in a recent friendly.
“That was great,” he said. “I’d just come on so I kind of forgot what the score was when I scored so I went away celebrating while we’re getting beat 4-1! It was a good feeling anyway to score in front of all those fans.”
Tonight’s clash is sure to be another big occasion for City, and See will be sure to catch up with a familiar face in the Lions’ dugout. “I know their assistant manager Neil Hastings,” he explained. “I was with him at Tynecastle – we played together there and I’ve stayed in touch with him. I spoke to him last week when I saw him out and had bit of banter with him then. I know Darren Cole as well and I wasn’t sure what he was doing this season, but I saw he left last week.
“There will be a bit of a rivalry I suppose given the history of the two clubs, and they’re fairly local as well. These are the games you want to play in – playing against Premiership, Championship and League One sides – so it’s going to be a good experience for us.”