First of many games for Gallacher says Bairns boss

28-11-2015. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. William Hill Scottish Cup third round. Falkirk FC v Fraserburgh FC. Tony Gallacher 33 makes his first team debut aged, 16 years and 128 days.
28-11-2015. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. William Hill Scottish Cup third round. Falkirk FC v Fraserburgh FC. Tony Gallacher 33 makes his first team debut aged, 16 years and 128 days.

Peter Houston will pitch Tony Gallacher in for his debut against Elgin, and hopes the youngster makes at least another 49 appearances for Falkirk.

The rookie left-back has only played five minutes of senior football – a Scottish Cup appearance last season in a 4-1 win over Fraserburgh – yet has still attracted interest from clubs in England.

Gallacher is expected to break into the first team soon after playing well in training. picture Michael Gillen.

Gallacher is expected to break into the first team soon after playing well in training. picture Michael Gillen.

Manchester United were reportedly watching the then 16-year-old but Stoke City were among his biggest admirers though no bid came in for the youngster as the transfer window closed on Wednesday night – to the relief of Peter Houston.

English clubs splashed more than ONE BILLION pounds over the summer trading period but Falkirk’s manager says for the likes of Gallacher, it’s about development more than money.

He said: “Tony is better served here, but when it comes to money, that’s not in my jurisdiction – it’s a board decision.

“I don’t think for Tony’s development it’s the right time to move, I think he thinks that and his family agree. He has good parents, they’re here watching him every game, and they’re sensible and I don’t think they think it’s time to move on.

Tony Gallacher #23.

Tony Gallacher #23.

“If he progresses, and I think he has the potential to, it will become time – though he’s not there yet.”

Gallacher has been seen as the next big star to break through to the senior side, but he has to contend with Luke Leahy who has developed himself into an assured left-back over the past year. However, Leahy’s contract expires at the end of this season and Gallagher could be next season’s starting left back if he can come through tests like Saturdays game and more in future.

Houston added: “He has capabilities to be a very good player in the future, but after 50 games or so here at Falkirk which will stand him in good stead like Stephen kingsley, Jay Fulton.

“Ryan Blair only had three games and my worry is he goes missing down there. Botti Biabi had more because he played sporadically through a season and in the cup final and he had had a taste of first team football.

“What you don’t want is to let a player go down there and get lost – it’s happened to others and from a purely selfish football point of view it’s crucial they pick the best time to go.

“It’s not about money just now, it’s about development. They’ll make the money if they’re good enough.”