Falkirk's Cameron Blues eager for game time at Edinburgh City
Edinburgh City is becoming a popular destination for young Falkirk players, understandably given manager James McDonaugh's connections to the club.
Their ranks of young Bairns swelled last week when Under-20s captain Cameron Blues signed on a development loan until the end of the season.
He joins in-form team-mate Scott Shepherd, who has netted three times in his two games, and Liam Henderson, who made his initial short-term loan a permanent deal until the end of the season.
With familiar faces already in place and a desire to gain more first-team experience to build on his nine Falkirk appearances to date, a switch to Ainslie Park made perfect sense for the midfielder.
“I had to start getting games, obviously,” said the 19-year-old. “I need to try and get more first-team experience and I think Edinburgh City is a good place to get that.
“I’ve played a few games for Falkirk this season. I started three and I came off the bench in six or seven so that was decent, but obviously I want to start more and get playing.
“James messaged me saying he was quite keen to get me on board and thought I could fit in to his plans. I was always keen to do it because I enjoyed working under James in the past.
“I’ve got Shepps and Hendo here as well, who are two great guys. I get on with them and I enjoy playing with them.
“I’m here to get experience of winning games. Development football is all about development, as it says, so winning games and experience of competing for points is the main thing. I can learn from the physical side of it as well. It’ll probably toughen me up a bit and hopefully get me ready for a place in Falkirk’s team.”
His first-team involvement so far would suggest The Bairns have long-terms plans for Blues, and there are previous examples, even within his new team, of youngsters dropping down before returning to the top flight ready to play.
“I’ve got another year on my Falkirk contract after this one,” he explained. “My focus is on Edinburgh City just now though.
“Guys like Ryan Porteous at Hibs, who I didn’t know had been at City until recently, he’s obviously done well here and is now doing well at Hibs too. That’s the aim – to do well for Edinburgh City then go back to Falkirk next season and try and compete.”
From McDonaugh’s perspective, Blues affords him another option in the middle of the park, which has almost exclusively this season been the domain of captain Josh Walker, Marc Laird and Craig Thomson.
“Cameron will add a bit of steel in the middle of the pitch and a bit of competition as well,” said the City manager. “Laird and Walker have been great for us and they’ve played almost every minute of every game. Cameron will give us another option in there and it might allow Josh to play a wee bit further forward.”
For Blues, the opportunity to play alongside Walker and Laird was part of the appeal. “They’ve been speaking to me quite a lot,” he admitted. “I’ve got a lot of good players to learn from at Falkirk too and it’s even better having good players that I can learn from at Edinburgh City as well so it’s kind of the best of both worlds. They’re good guys and have been great with me since I joined.
“As for myself, I’d probably say I’m a box-to-box midfielder. I like to get about the pitch, tackle and get forward to create chances.”
That was partly evident when he made his debut as a second-half substitute in last Saturday’s 2-0 win at Cowdenbeath. “It was quite a hard game to come on in because they boys were just defending, basically,” he reflected. “They were just trying to see the game out so I wasn’t really involved much, just tackling and heading it.
“It was enjoyable to make my debut though and get the win, which is the most important thing.”
They face opposition from the other end of the table tomorrow when league leaders Montrose come to Ainslie Park, but Blues sees no reason why they can’t achieve another victory.
“They’re top of the league but I believe anyone can beat anyone in this division. My aim personally is win a starting place and more game time, as well as the three points.”