We’ve recently had a tough run of game, three away games on the trot against two elite sides and, one of the better performance sides, St Mirren. The boys have been great, we’re delighted with them and the way they have been performing, they are showing great character. A couple of the games have been tough ones for them, particularly in the first half, but they’ve solved problems and blown the sides away in the second half of all three of the recent games. I’ve been really impressed with their work rate and their attitude, but it is their quality on the ball which is most pleasing on the eye.

Roddy MacGregor is full of confidence at the minute, that’s about six or seven games in a row that he has scored in and that has gone hand in hand with him being involved in the first-team squad recently with him being on the bench for a couple of games now. For Roddy, the next step for him will be breaking into the first-team and getting on the park for them but it’s just important he keeps doing what he is doing. Roddy works his socks off, he’s not just one of those boys who plays when he’s on the ball, he does a really good job for the team. We’re delighted for him but it’s an all-round effort from the team. Only one of our players hasn’t scored this season, young Lewis Hyde is the only one as Donald Morrison scored against Motherwell. 

Matheus coming in now is huge for the team, it’s been really frustrating for myself, for Matheus and his family that there’s been complications with his international clearance and stuff like that. We’ve manged to get it through, he’s been signed as an amateur, so we can play him before January. He was delighted to play against Motherwell on Thursday and score his debut goal, he was naturally tired after playing 65-70 minutes not having played for a while, and when I say tired, I’m being kind to him! The whole squad is delighted to have him involved now for the season ahead.

Matheus is good technically and has a great attitude as he works hard. He’s quite like Roddy MacGregor in that he’s got good qualities on the ball plus he works hard off the ball too and that’s the reason we signed him. Results are great, doing well in the leagues is great but the aim of the players and us as coaches is to get these players into the first team squad.

The guys are lucky as the first team squad isn’t the biggest so if there’s two or three injuries then places become available, but they still have to earn those places. We’ve seen some managers in the past that wouldn’t use their full allocation of subs, John Hughes was one that thought if a kid didn’t deserve it then he wouldn’t put them on the bench and he would only have four subs. The fact that these guys are really pushing hard, and the first team players are noticing that the guys are impressing when they join in training which is a good thing.

Barry Wilson

Full Results and Fixtures for our U18s this season can be found HERE