FALKIRK. Falkirk v Partick Thistle. Piictured: Falkirk Duffie.
FALKIRK. Falkirk v Partick Thistle. Piictured: Falkirk Duffie.
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Chris Mitchell saw his friend and team-mate Scott Arfield move south last summer - and now believes the youngsters breaking into Falkirk’s top team have a great chance to do the same.

Kieran Duffie has already made the grade, but Blair Alston, Jay Fulton, Stewart Murdoch and Stephen Kingsely have all made the step up this season - just like Mitchell, Arfield, Mark Stewart and Darren Barr did years ago.

And the midfielder, who made a return to the first team from the bench during Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Partick Thistle, says the youngsters have every opportunity to progress to the English championship as Arfield and Huddersfield Town are on the verge of doing this season.

“Blair and Murdo have broken through and are playing every week and starting to play well now so it’s obviously a good progression for a young players’ development,” said Mitchell who has had to make do with a bit-part role for the Bairns this season.

“I came through the Academy system with Scott Arfield and I think that shows there’s an opportunity for all these boys to go down to England like Scott and make a name for themselves.”

The latest one who could do so is Kieran Duffie.

The right-back made his Bairns debut 14 months ago and has risen to prominence in the first team and established himself as a regular feature in Steven Pressley’s defence.

Cardiff City boss Dave Jones was at The Falkirk Stadium on Tuesday night and Heraldsport understands Duffie was one of his reasons for a trip north from the Premiership hopefuls.

He, and an assortment of bosses from the Premier League in Scotland took in the 2-0 victory - the Bairns’ third on the trot since Steven Pressley decided to blood young players like Alston and Murdoch ahead of next season.

It’s been at the expense of players in the first team squad like Mitchell and Pedro Moutinho, but the Scotland under-21 cap has still been impressed from the bench.

“It’s mostly academy boys playing in the team for the last few games and the energy in the team has been good.

“It’s a positive aspect of this club that we can get the chance as young players to experience the first team at a young age, and even better this week that we got the win.

“It’s the first time in a while that I’ve been playing. I’ve been left out a few times and was a bit disappointed, but you just have to keep going in situations like that and hopefully you’ll get a chance and take it and play well.

“There were a few times when I wasn’t even involved on the substitutes’ bench and then others when I was and watching others go on ahead of me, but I’ve waited and got my game time this week.

“It’s not like I’ve felt out of things, you still feel part of the team, but there are only 11 places on the pitch so you just have to be patient.

“Hopefully I can get into contention again after I played against Partick on Tuesday.”

Falkirk travel to Stirling on Saturday in a bid to continue their winning run and are bolstered by Marc Twaddle’s return to availability again following his two-match suspension.

Former Bairn Scott Arfield and Huddersfield are in action tomorrow at MK Dons and sit joint second in League One. Promotion would mean a cash windfall for Falkirk as part of the midfielder’s transfer.