When Harry met Stenny: a match made in Ochilview

Sports Editor David Oliver hands over this year's Starshot trophy to Harry Paton. Picture: Alan Murray
Sports Editor David Oliver hands over this year's Starshot trophy to Harry Paton. Picture: Alan Murray

Harry Paton landed the Starshot award for Stenhousemuir in season 2017-18.

And in true Starshot-winning style he looks set to leave Ochilview for good.

Paton made the League Two team of the year. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Paton made the League Two team of the year. Picture: Michael Gillen.

The midfielder’s loan spell at Stenhousemuir, from Hearts, came to an en d at the conclusion of the play-offs and Paton has been told he will not be kept on by the Edinburgh side next season.

However, after a sterling season which saw him cruise to The Falkirk Herald’s annual award, and into the SPFL League Two team of the year, he’ll not be short of offers.

And he reckons he has developed well at Ochilview under the tutelage of Brown Ferguson and Jim Paterson – and the whole experience has been worthwhile.

Paton told The Falkirk Herald: “I’ve really enjoyed it, playing football and getting 90 minutes every week and it’s been the ambition to get promotion all season. I have enjoyed it. The club belong in League One

Stenhousemuir were delighted with Harry Paton

Stenhousemuir were delighted with Harry Paton

“I came here to keep improving. The reason to come here was to improve, and play against men and see just where I was and I think it’s worked, it’s helped and I’ve improved a lot through the season.”

The disappointment of the Jambos’ decision though has been overtaken by the Canadian’s determination following his spell at Stenhousemuir.

He added: “The only way is up. I’ve just got to keep working hard and the off-season is going to be a busy one and I’ll keep working and come back even stronger for next season.

“I don’t know what’s happening, Hearts are letting me go so my options are pretty open, it’s a chance to see what the future holds for me but it’s a chance to kick on that I’m hoping to take.

“I’ll wait and look at the offers if they come and I’m excited to see which team picks me up and shoot on from there.”

However he moves with a plethora of awards already banked, including the Starshot.

He saw off competition from hot-shot striker Mark McGuigan, who joined him in the League Two team of the year but helped ‘Mr Goals’ to the top of the scoring charts throughout the season, and then orchestrated the winner to see Stenny through the play-off semi-final at Hampden.

“I’ve laid Mark on a few times this season - he’s a great finisher. He made a run to let me have space to shoot at Hampden, but I slipped him in and it was the right decision.

“He’s got 20-plus goals and been a crucial part of the team. It’s great for me when he puts them away as well because as a midfielder it’s good to be able to get assists as well.

“Promotion is the icing on the cake and to win the Starshot award is a great honour.

“It’s been great to have such great fans at Stenhousemuir and to have had their support and to be recognised by them.”

Previous winners
2018: Harry Paton
2017: Alan Cook
2016: Ross Meechan
2015: Greg Fleming
2014: Chris Smith 
2013: Bryan Hodge
2012: Stewart Kean
2011: Willie Lyle
2010: Chris McCluskey
2009: Kevin Motion