GABLE ENDIES STRENGTHEN WITH BLEND OF YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE
With the transfer deadline looming large, Montrose FC have had a busy day making a total of 5 signings to bolster a squad still chasing its first league win of the season.
Ex-Peterhead captain Callum MacDonald along with youngsters Cammy Ballantyne from Dundee United, Jonny Court and David McKay from Raith Rovers and Scott Hynd from Alloa Athletic have all arrived at Links Park as Manager Paul Hegarty completes his summer signings.
Experienced centre half MacDonald has signed a one year deal following 3 impressive displays as a trialist which included a vital headed goal against Annan Athletic at the weekend. The 33 year old has been out of the game for the last few years recovering from a cruciate ligament injury.
Starting his career with Dundee in 2001, Callum played over 70 games for the Dark Blues but was unable to remain a regular figure and spent some time out on loan to Peterhead. In 2006, he signed a permanent deal with Iain Stewart’s Blue Toon, making over 120 appearances and establishing himself as a leader, before suffering a cruel knee injury in training in 2012.
Youngsters Cammy Ballantyne, Jonny Court, David McKay and Scott Hynd have all arrived on loan until January 2017.
Originally from East Kilbride, Cammy joined the youth ranks at Dundee United in 2007. He has featured regularly for the U20 Development side and has also played for Scotland at U17 level, including the European Championships in 2014, where the team reached the semi final. The 19 year old defender made his first team debut against Partick Thistle back in May and over the summer he was promoted to the first team squad by manager Ray McKinnon.
Jonny progressed through the youth system at The Rovers before signing a two-year apprenticeship in 2014. He has since gained valuable experience during three loan spells including the first half of last season with the then League 2 side East Stirling, where he scored the SPFL’s 5,000th goal in their 2-0 win over Elgin City in October. The 20 year old striker was awarded the clubs Malcolm Szpera Award for Endeavour for 2015-16 and has extended his contract at Stark’s Park until May next year.
David hugely impressed The Rovers management team in the 2014-15 season, both in Development matches, as a trialist and in training. Released last summer by Hibernian after 4 years on their books as a youth player, the 18 year old defender shone out as an excellent prospect in the U20’s and was subsequently offered a two-year apprenticeship in March this year.
Scott, at only 15 years and 260 days, made his first team debut for Alloa against Albion Rovers in April 2013. Coming off the bench he became the youngest player to play for The Wasps in the Scottish Football League, and at Gayfield the following week the striker scored the winning goal and became the youngest player to have scored in the league for the Recreation Park side. Last season Scott scored 19 goals for Jack Ross’s Development Squad and has bagged 5 goals in only 3 games this term. The 19 year old has also made it onto the first team bench 4 times this year.
Hegarty said, “Callum is a really experienced defender who has been unlucky with injuries in recent years. He is back to his best now and has performed very well in the 3 games he has played for us this season as a trialist.
“All the young kids come highly recommended. They will add quality and competition to our squad and the experience they well gain from playing in League 2 will be invaluable in their development.”
The Club also confirmed that full back Iain Campbell has extended his contract until January 2017 having initially signed a short one month deal at the start of August.