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 teams 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. Mirren.
During the 2013 League Cup winning season, St. Mirren had young academy players in their squad, even 18-year-old John McGinn started the final at Hampden and another youngster Kenny McLean was on the bench. Both went on to bigger things as McGinn won the Scottish Cup with Hibs and McLean is enjoying European success at Aberdeen. St. Mirren take great pride in their youth system and have since produced players including Jason Naismith, Stevie Mallan and Kyle McAllister, with Naismith going to Ross County, and Mallan and McAllister off to the English Championship.
Lewis Morgan is just one start away from 50 starts for the club and managed to hit double figures for the first time in his career as he scored ten goals last season. There were fears that the 20-year-old pacy winger may have had his campaign cut short after suffering an ankle injury but recovered to make his Scotland Under 21 debut in a stalemate friendly with Estonia in the last few months of the campaign. St. Mirren also rejected two bids from English Championship side Burton Albion this summer. The former Rangers youngster has just one year remaining on his current contract.
Kyle Magennis enjoyed an excellent breakthrough season after making his debut in just October 2016, coming on as a half time substitute in a defeat at Easter Road against Hibs. A local boy, Magennis starred for Paisley Grammar, winning the Scottish Shield in 2011 and several local cups during his time as a student. He first found the net for the Buddies at Queen of the South in Saints’ first league victory of the 2016-17 season on December 6 2016. The 19-year-old would go on to score another two goals. Magennis also represented the Scottish Under 20s at the recent summer Toulon Tournament. The midfielder will miss the beginning of the new league campaign due to knee ligament damage picked up in a pre season friendly against Dundee. The midfielder has gained a reputation as a powerful runner from the middle of the park. Having been used as an auxiliary right midfielder since his inclusion, the central midfielder who will have a chance of gaining a spot in his natural position given the sale of Stevie Mallan, but will miss the beginning of the new league campaign due to knee ligament damage picked up in a pre season friendly against Dundee.