Archie Meekison acknowledges he is in a fortunate position.
Cove Rangers’ final signing before last month’s loan deadline comes in to a squad primed for a league title and promotion.
For a 17-year-old getting his first taste of senior football, there is little more than he could ask for.
Meekison made his debut as a second-half substitute in the win over Stenhousemuir last weekend, as Cove extended their lead at the top of League 2 to 10 points.
He needs to make eight appearances in Cove’s remaining 10 games to attain a league medal – should the Aberdeen side win the league – to meet the SPFL’s threshold of 25 per cent of games played.
“I get a bit of stick for coming in for the winner’s medal but there’s nothing I can do about that,” said Meekison. “I’m really fortunate to be in this position and I’m looking forward to it. I didn’t want to say too much about it but hopefully I might squeeze that in! (nine appearances)
“There’s only about 10 games left so my ambition now is to push and try get a start. I’m only here for about 10 weeks but I want to cement my place in the team and I’m going to work hard to do that.
“I got a text one night towards the end of the deadline, asking if I wanted to sign for Cove. I’d already been here training and it was something I was interested in. We’re fighting for the league just now and I think winning the league would be good for my development.”
Meekison is the latest Dundee United connection to the SPFL’s newest club. Former United captain Fraser Fyvie joined near the start of the season, while Declan Glass and Matty Smith both had loan spells at the Balmoral Stadium in the first half of the campaign.
It cannot hurt either that Tannadice boss Robbie Neilson and his Cove counterpart Paul Hartley are ex-team-mates at Hearts, with the latter also managing the Arabs’ city rivals Dundee.
Glass in particular made a lasting impression with his stint in the Granite City, something Meekison is keen to replicate.
“There’s a lot of connections between Dundee United and Cove, so there’s a few boys to talk to about it and that helped with the transition,” said Meekison, a graduate of the Scottish FA Performance School in Dundee.
“Declan had a great time when he was here and went straight back into the first-team. There’s positive signs coming to a club like this and I think it was at the right time for his development. It’s at the right time for my development.”
The teenager has a wise head on young shoulders and has already been on the fringes of the United first-team.
Hartley watched him for United’s youth sides and also had him in for a training session before Christmas, when Neilson made it clear he saw a loan move as best for Meekison’s development.
“The next step for me is playing in men’s football. For me to mature as a player and experience what it means to win, it’s important for my development to go back to Dundee United in the summer,” he said.
“I’m still young and before I came out I signed a new contract at Dundee United. There’s no rush but I’ve still got to keep pushing. For me to do that, this is the right place to come.
“They’ve got themselves in a great position so far. I was involved against Stenhousemuir and hopefully I can win us games and score goals. That’s what I’m here to do.”