Debut goes by in a flash for Gallacher

Tony Gallacher has been a regular in the under-20s
Tony Gallacher has been a regular in the under-20s

In the under-20s, Tony Gallacher was going from facing Celtic first-team stars, to the classroom in a matter of hours.

Now in the first team, he’s gone from facing modern apprentices on the park to the training ground with the Scottish Cup finalists.

It’s been a bit of a role reversal for the 16-year-old who finally made his long anticipated debut for Falkirk on Saturday.

Peter Houston admitted he hoped to give the youngster a bit longer than he did, with Gallacher replacing Luke Leahy with ten minutes of football remaining. It was ten minutes that flew by for the left-back.

“It’s still sinking in, but when I went on the park the players were all telling me to enjoy it and that’s exactly what I did,” Gallacher told The Falkirk Herald. “It was a good start.”

He added: “It was a ten-minute taster, but it felt like I was out there for a lot less than that. It felt a lot quicker. I felt I’d barely been out when the whistle went so that must mean I enjoyed myself!

“Hopefully I can get another few bench appearances and add up the experiences.”

Gallacher has been racking up the under-20 appearances against big names while still at school, before signing on as a professional in the summer. Since then he’s made great strides in the development squad, helped along by Alan Maybury.

“I’m regular starting left-back at the under-20s and I’ve got Alan and Ryan Blair in there too, so they help you out with the 20s which helps move into the first team when you’re there. Most of the time we’re around the first team so you’re always learning.

“Alan is great, and because he’s a defender he helps massively and you listen and you learn when he speaks to you. It’s little things you pick up on and they end up meaning a lot.

“It’s better having him on the pitch with you, because you’re in the middle of it with him. He makes it easier and you adapt with him.”

“Peter Grant spoke to me a lot - well, he shouted more than talked me through it a bit! Blair Alston ahead of me supported me so it was good help from them.

“I’ve been at the club since I was ten years old, I’m hoping to keep a level head and see where things go.”