Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL team to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out, as the kick off to the 2017-18 league season edges ever closer.
Here, we provide some insight on the exciting prospects at St Johnstone.
The Perth club have enjoyed tremendous success in recent years with qualification for the Europa League on a regular basis and lifting the club’s first major trophy in 2014. Manager Tommy Wright will look to continue the trend when their domestic season kicks off away to Kilmarnock on the August 5 and has included several youngsters in the first team squad.
Callum Hendry began his football career with Blackburn Rovers and featured regularly for the former English Champions Under 18 and Under 23 sides. To aid his development, the striker – who is the son of former Scotland Captain Colin Hendry – was sent on loan to Stik League First Division North side Clitheroe where he scored on his debut in a 3-1 victory over Kendal Town en route to enjoying a promising spell. The 19-year-old suffered a knee injury towards the end of his time at Ewood Park and Hendry travelled north to be offered a trial at St Johnstone, through the contacts of assistant manager Callum Davidson. Following an outing towards the end of a pre-season friendly with Aberdeen it was announced the Lytham St Annes born striker had agreed a one-year contract with the club.
Hendry grabbed his first goal for the Saints with a well taken finish during a 1-0 closed-door victory against Rangers and will hope it puts him in the frame for future appearances.
Kirkcaldy born right back Aaron Comrie joined the youth set up at St Johnstone following a spell in Celtic’s Under 17s squad in 2014. Having tasted action for the Under 20 development squads Comrie was loaned to League Two side Montrose where he made 21 appearances which included scoring the winner against East Stirling. Having enjoyed a successful spell at Montrose, Comrie moved further up the East coast and began a loan spell at Peterhead in January 2017. The right back's impact was immediate as he helped the Blue Toon to a shutout against Brechin on his debut. In total Comrie made 14 appearances for the club and will have greatly benefited from the competitive nature of League One.
It is clear St Johnstone rate the player highly and having made his first team debut in 1-1 draw away at Hamilton Tommy Wright told the Evening Telegraph: “Aaron was excellent after coming on, he’s been close to starting before and he did very well.”