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First class opportunity- Celtic teenager delighted by loan deal

Ben McPherson has completed a season long move to Queens Park and goes straight into their squad for Saturday’s home match against Arbroath.

After a couple of seasons on the road the Spiders return home to the newly developed Lesser Hampden which has been renamed as The City Stadium.

Since turning professional Queens have enjoyed back-to-back promotions but their hopes of a hat-trick ended last season in the Play Offs when they lost to Partick Thistle.

Promotion to the Premiership might have arrived too soon, this season under former Anderlecht coach Marjin Beuker an ambitious young squad has been put together which should suit McPherson down to the ground.

The defender told the Queens Park website:

After a good period in pre-season with Celtic, both the club and I felt that a loan move would be ideal for my further development. There was interest from other clubs, but once I had spoken to Marijn Beuker and Robin Veldman about the project and philosophy at Queen’s Park, I felt it would be a first-class opportunity for me to continue to learn and develop at a very progressive club.

I am here to work hard and to give 110% effort to the club, staff, my colleagues on the pitch, and most importantly the fans.

Injuries to Tony Ralston and Alistair Johnston opened the door for McPherson to get promoted into the first team, turning out in the two matches in Japan as well as against Wolves in Dublin.

After one season in the Lowland League, playing on mainly plastic pitches against opponents from the 5th/6th tier of the Scottish game stepping up to the Championship is just the test that McPherson needs.

Matches against Dundee United, Partick Thistle and Scottish Cup finalists Inverness Caley Thistle can accelerate his game, after a couple of first team games for Celtic there will be a level of expectation on the loan bhoy.

McPherson is the first of a few young Celts to go out on loan, Ben Summers, Rocco Vata and Daniel Kelly could do with facing opponents of a higher level than Caledonian Braves, Cumbernauld Colts and Edinburgh University.

Bridging the gap from Academy to first team football has become an increasing issue over the last few seasons which is likely to come into the open when Brendan Rodgers names his Championship League squad.

Callum McGregor, James Forrest and Ralston fill three of the four places needed for players developed by the club with the fourth slot going to either Stephen Welsh or Mikey Johnston.

Welsh hasn’t played a competitive first team match since October last year while Johnston spent last season out on loan at Vitoria Guimaraes.

Four SFA trained players are required for the 25 man squad which is likely to be Greg Taylor, David Turnbull, Scott Bain and James McCarthy.

Despite speculation over a link up and player exchange with Admira Wacker there hasn’t been any announcement between Celtic and the Austrian club. Tobi Oluwayemi and Matthew Anderson haven’t been involved in any pre-season matches and are expected to go out on loan.

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