Ben hoping for further first-team involvement

Striker Ben Armour is hoping for further first-team involvement next season after signing a six-month contract extension with the club earlier this month.

The 19-year-old frontman made his senior bow as a substitute away at Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday 29 April, replacing Lawrence Shankland in the 85th minute at East End Park.

After handing him his debut, gaffer Jim Duffy offered Armour a new deal following a year with the Under-20s and has challenged the teen to continue his progression and push for more top-team participation next term.

Ben told “I signed a new deal, until 1 January, and the gaffer basically said it’s going to be an opportunity for me but it’s going to be a challenge to push on.

“If I am pushing on and developing the way he thinks I can and the way he wants me to then hopefully he’ll be able to extend it until the end of the season. I feel I can develop the way he’s said and push for the first-team.

“I’ll be hoping to be in with the first-team more often than I have been this season and develop more as a player, being in that environment with players who put more demands and there’s a higher quality of training session.

“Whenever I’ve got game time with the Under-20s I’ve tried to make the most of it, and I felt I kicked on especially in the last few games of the season.

“I started to get a run of games in the last two months and felt I pretty much developed most in that time. I got more confident and felt my performances were improving as the season went on.

“It was still a wee bit of a surprise to make my debut at Dunfermline. That week in training I had been in with the first-team but wasn’t sure if I’d be involved or not.

“On the Friday after training the gaffer basically said to me: ‘You’re in the squad.’ I was never expecting to go on. I prepared to, but was never expecting to actually get on, just to maybe sit on the bench.

“It was a good experience to be on the bench because I’d never done it before, and then he threw me on for the last five minutes, which was brilliant, a dream I suppose, especially to get that opportunity in the first-team at my age.

“It was a blur, different aspects of it with guys saying things to me and me not even being able to remember it, and a brilliant experience.”


Image: David Bell