It may not have been a competitive match, but Hearts’ 3-0 win over Raith Rovers in their recent pre season friendly was monumental for 17-year-old Queensferry lad Callum Paterson.
The youngster was given a chance to shine in his first senior game for the Edinburgh club, and he didn’t disappoint – scoring the first goal, claiming the Man of the Match award and, most importantly, impressing the new gaffer, John McGlynn.
“It’s brilliant to be given a chance in the first team,” a delighted Callum told the Journal and Gazette.
“I’ve been at Hearts since I was 15 and this is the best chance that I have had to make an impact. I never really got much of a look in under Jim (Jeffries) and Paulo (Sergio), but John has come in and looked at the younger players straight away.”
Callum is traditionally an attack minded player, playing as either a winger or a striker, but he found himself slotted in at right back in the youthful Jambo’s line up on Saturday. Callum was insistent, however, that he doesn’t mind where he plays as long as he gets to play more first team games.
He said: “I would like to play in my preferred role as a right winger but I don’t care where I play in the line up, I just want to take my chance when I get it.”
“It also helps that I got to play next to an experienced professional like Andy Webster. He has played internationally and won Scottish Cups so he calmed me down straight away and put me into my comfort zone. He helped me throughout the whole game talking me through, which was great.”
Callum has been listed with the Hearts under 20s squad for the forthcoming season. However, after getting a taste of first team action, he is determined to challenge for a place during the course of this season.
“I’m pleased to be here at Hearts and I really want to use this season to break into the first team,” Callum said. “I will hopefully get more opportunities to play in some friendlies before the season starts. If I can play to the best of my ability I will give myself a great chance.”
With the demise of Rangers, the SPL is in need of a challenger for the title. But Callum says Hearts won’t be getting carried away, in terms of challenging league favourites Celtic.
“I think when you look at the amount of players that the side have lost we have to be looking at finishing in the top six, first and foremost. That’s not to say we couldn’t mount a challenge but a place in Europe would be our aim I would think.”
Elsewhere, Callum’s cousin, Michael Travis has quickly found himself a new club, following his release by Livingston.
The 19-year-old centre back, who is also from Queensferry, has joined Arbroath and is looking to help The Red Lichties gain promotion this season. “I think the aim is to gain promotion, the side were unlucky last season, finishing second and missing out via the playoffs.
“I’m really pleased to be here and I am lucky that I found a team so quickly after leaving Livingston. I had a few clubs looking at me but I knew coming to Arbroath was the right choice and the manager has said he has been pleased with how I’ve played so far.”