On-loan St Johnstone defender Sam Denham's teen dream at Edinburgh City, as Grant Murray warns of Stirling threat

Young centre-back Sam Denham doesn't want the season to end as he laps up some game-time with playoff-bound Edinburgh City.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 9:42 pm
City assistant manager Grant Murray has warned of Stirling Albion's threat. (Picture: SNS)

The 18-year-old, on loan from Premiership outfit and Betfred Cup winners St Johnstone, made his first start for the Citizens in last weekend's narrow 3-2 defeat to League Two champions Queen's Park, the first setback under new boss Gary Naysmith.

Denham then started alongside the returning Conrad Balatoni at the heart of the visitors' defence in Tuesday's 1-0 win at Stirling Albion – tomorrow's opponents at Ainslie Park following the League Two split.

The teenager joined the Capital outfit at the beginning of last month and has shown maturity beyond his years with two impressive performances.

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Denham is loving life in a black-and-white jersey and is aiming to depart on a high next month with promotion to League One via the play-offs accomplished.

"I just want to get as many games as I can and long may that continue," Denham explained. "At 18 I should be able to plays these games in quick succession, although some of the older boys may find it a bit more difficult. I'm loving just getting minutes under my belt. The squad and standard of player is really good here.

"It will be another tough game tomorrow but we want to finish in second spot. We're three points ahead of Stirling so we've got the chance to go six clear. It was a tough game to come up against the now league champions last week for my first start but I felt I did well and again against Stirling on Tuesday.

"Having Conrad, who has played at the top level, next to me can only help me improve. We need to finish the season as strongly as we can. I've been offered a new one-year deal at St Johnstone so if I do leave City then I want to go having helped get them seal promotion to League One."

Denham revealed he has enjoyed his breakthrough season having been a part of the celebrations at the national stadium following the Perth club's Betfred Cup triumph in February.

"I had been training with the St Johnstone first team and made the bench a few times but we couldn't play any development games so it was best for me to go out on loan and get some games. At the same time it was great just being around the team as they have been doing really well. Just being part of the squad that travelled to Hampden for the League Cup final was incredible and obviously the celebrations that followed."

Meanwhile, assistant City boss Grant Murray says the team must be ready for round two when the Binos arrive in the Capital with the Stirling club's play-off aspirations still very much alive.

He said: "It's going to be another difficult game against Stirling tomorrow but we need to be ready to go again. We played well at Forthbank, there wasn't a lot in the game but we defended well, played a different formation and finished the game strong. There are times when you need to see games out and we managed to do that the other night. There's a lot of games during this period but we're delighted to be in the mix."

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