From Sociedad to Stranraer for new Bairns man Shaughnessy

24/04/2013,  TSPL, Scotsman, Sport, Football, SPL, Hibs v Aberdeen, Easter Road, Stadium, Edinburgh. Hibs Eoin Doyle and Joe Shaughnessy challenge for the ball.    Pic Ian Rutherford

24/04/2013, TSPL, Scotsman, Sport, Football, SPL, Hibs v Aberdeen, Easter Road, Stadium, Edinburgh. Hibs Eoin Doyle and Joe Shaughnessy challenge for the ball. Pic Ian Rutherford

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Joe Shaughnessy spent the early part of the season travelling to Holland and Spain with Aberdeen.

Glamourous Europa League matches with Gronigen and Real Sociedad were reward for an excellent campaign for Derek McInnes’ team last season.

But now Shaughnessy is at Falkirk and heading for Stranraer this weekend in the Petrofac Training Cup.

He is the only one of Peter Houston’s new recruits eligible to play with David Smith and Owain Tudur-Jones cup-tied. It’s one of the less salubrious sits the Bairns will experience this term, and certainly pales in comparison to Shaughnessy’s ventures a couple of months ago, but he’s looking forward to the next few months and more high profile games.

“The league is a big attraction - it’s definitely more high profile with the Hearts Hibs and Rangers games attracting TV cameras - like the Falkirk v Aberdeen game did.

“We will test ourselves against the big teams and see what happens.

I was away in Gronigen and Sociedad earlier this season and it was a great experience even though I was just on the bench. We had a big travelling support. I think it might have affected the start of the season but it was an exciting time.

“The team did well but then you see Real Sociedad beating Real Madrid at the weekend, so that shows the calibre we were playing against.

“These teams are a totally different level from what you get in the SPFL leagues - they’re so technical, you enjoy the experience and learn from it.

“Hopefully I can learn from it and experience it again at some stage of my career.”

Aberdeen have the option of recalling Shaughnessy in January but the idea is for the Irishman to stay with the Bairns for the duration of season 2014/15.

He’ll provide competition to Kieran Duffie and Alan Maybury at right-back and will be able to cover should Will Vaulks, David McCracken or Ryan McGeever pick up knocks or suspensions in the centre of defence. At 6’2” Peter Houston was keen on adding height to his side, and the on-loan defender will help fulfil that transfer window objective.

“I’ve spent most of my competitive games at right-back but I can play at centre-back too.

“I’ll attack set-pieces at both ends of the park, I’m comfortable defending and attacking. I’ve been expected to win headers since, I, well since I grew to this height I suppose. I am looking for a few goals this year.”

He already has a goal at Falkirk on his record though. Shaughnessy opened the scoring in last season’s televised rout by Aberdeen.

“I was reminded of my goal here last season as soon as I walked through the door.

Hopefully there’s a few more goals to come so I have got the monkey off my back and scored at The Falkirk Stadium already - hopefully the next ones will be on the Falkirk side though.

“We won 5-0 that night. We had put in a lot of younger guys and only a few first-team players and I think that was one of the best team performances all season. We weren’t expecting a scoreline like that.

“We simply blew them away and it wasn’t a bad Falkirk team out there.

“I’m looking forward to working with them all, it’s a good bunch and I’ve enjoyed meeting them at training so far.”

Falkirk fans travelling to Stranraer showuld note traffic advisroy notices for a major event taking place in Ayr. Roads around the town - on the A77 road to Stranraer - are expected to be busier than usual.