Perry’s moved closer to home

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playing for a championship winning team adds prestige to the CV of any football player.

But with it, too, comes an expectation level that’s raised by the calibre of the previous, or in Ross Perry’s case, current employers.

The central defender moved to Falkirk from current SPL champions Rangers on an emergency loan deal earlier this month but the raised expectancy wasn’t the only pressure on Perry when he arrived at The Falkirk Stadium. He’s got local pride to contend with too.

But with a sensible head on young shoulders - albeit bruised after a debut clash - he’s relaxed about doing his Denny and Dunipace-based relatives proud in a darker shade of blue than usual.

And that maturity has helped him progress to first-team football where others have, understandably, fallen by the wayside.

“I wasn’t nervous and thought I perfomed ok on my debut,” he told Heraldsport this week.

“I come from a family of Rangers fans, but being born in Falkirk and living nearby makes it a proud thing for me to be playing for the club.

“My dad actually follows Stirling Albion - so I think he’s proud of the move I’ve made!”

Paternal interest in Falkirk’s neighbours is perhaps one of the reasons he’s only watched the Bairns a handful of times.

“My dad’s just happy for me to play football, and to be getting a chance because an awful lot of people don’t get the chance. Being born in Falkirk and growing up nearby it’s good for me as well.

“I didn’t really watch a lot of football when I was younger to be honest, but I did go along to Brockville a few times because it was quite nearby. And even though I’m not a diehard fan it’s still really special to play for my hometown team.”

That Perry is local to Falkirk, Denny and Dunipace comes from his mother’s side of the family.

“I think she would be proud to see me at Falkirk - she’s the reason we live in Denny. Her side of the family are from Denny and Dunipace.”

Four years ago, when Perry was a youngster on Rangers’ books, his mother passed away.

As a 16-year-old he was helped through the difficult time by the club, and its help and support ensured Perry stayed in the game right up to the present day - three weeks after his 21st birthday and a fortnight on from his senior debut in Scottish football.

That obviously leaves an emotional tie with Rangers - added to by being the family’s club of choice - but now he’s even closer to his mum at her local team too.

“When I was younger it was hard to get over it, and it took a little bit of time, and you’ll never really get over that.

“It’s tough, but I got a lot of support and a lot the guys at Rangers helped me on a lot. I’ve got a lot of friends there and a lot of guys there helped me through really well.

“There are emotional ties to Rangers and I’ve a lot of friends and a lot of people I’m very grateful to.

“Ian Durrant was a big help throughout that time and talked me through things and I had his shoulder to lean on any time I needed it.

“Among the players I can always go to Davie Weir and have a conversation with him, but they’re all good guys and there’s no-one there that the young boys couldn’t go to.

“But being here at Falkirk, it’s my mum’s local area and her family’s local team and my local team too so that spurs me on as well.”

The comparisons have already been mentioned between the two local Falkirk lads at Rangers and Perry’s move in the opposite direction to Weir, but the veteran’s advice was just to enjoy his time at The Falkirk Stadium and playing competitive football.

“I trained beside Davie and all the first-team every day at Murray Park. But the opportunity to come here came up, and I’m looking forward to the games.

“That means a lot more than the friendlies - I wouldn’t quite say they become tedious but there’s a lack of an edge that you get from first-team matches.

“I need to be combating for three points, in front of a crowd and learning at this stage of my career.

“It’s a great place. And hopefully I can make an impact on the team and if I can help the club out in any way I can then that’s what I’m looking for - it’ll be great to help my hometown team.”

And he’s felt at home with Falkirk almost immediately too.

“I’ve settled in really quickly. Coming to a new club it can take a bit of time to bed in but I’ve known a few guys from the under-21s so it’s been a big help.

“They’re all around the same age as me and are a good bunch of lads so I’m enjoying it.”

It’s early days but the boy from Denny’s feeling very much at home at Falkirk.