Dundee United defender Nathan Cooney is eager to rack up as many minutes as possible while on loan at League Two promotion contenders Elgin City.
The 19-year-old academy graduate player was pitched into the action on Saturday as City kept their first clean sheet of the season in a 3-0 win over Albion Rovers.
He could be in line to face Highland League side Rothes tonight in the North of Scotland Cup and the right-sided player, who looked at ease on his debut, would be ready for any kind of contest.
NOS CUP 🏆
Tomorrow evening we play Rothes Football Club in the quarter final of the North of Scotland Cup ⚽️
Turnstiles will be open at MacKessock Park with Adults £10 / Concessions £5
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) August 17, 2021
He said: “I have come here to play games, to win games and get minutes under my belt. There are a lot of games coming up and I just want to play as much as possible at first-team level.
“I have been signed with United since I was 11 and it’s been brilliant for me. They’re a good club, on the up. I have been on loan elsewhere, but I’ve not played much, so hopefully this is going to be somewhere I can really get the chance to play every week.”
Ideal debut for defender Cooney
The confident defender went from playing in a 3-0 SPFL Trust Trophy loss for United Colts at Stenhousemuir last Tuesday to training with his temporary Elgin team-mates 48 hours later.
Cooney felt his first run-out for the Black and Whites couldn’t have gone any better and praised the Moray side for the way in which they turned on the style in a match where Kane Hester bagged a treble.
He added: “It was brilliant to get a 3-0 win on my debut. We played a lot of good football, so it was enjoyable.
“I got a phone call on Wednesday, trained with United on Thursday, got it all signed and trained here on Thursday night. I was in contention for the game on Saturday and thankfully played a good part.
“We kept a clean sheet and limited their chances. I felt we worked well together at the back.
“It was always going to be enjoyable when you are playing with players who are wanting the ball and they take in passes. It was good.”
Price to make late call for Rothes
Elgin are now fourth in League Two and host joint leaders Forfar Athletic on Saturday.
While some first-team players will be rested for Rothes, boss Gavin Price still intends to field a strong team at Mackessack Park.
He said: “We will need to assess it. Our priority is the home league game against Forfar on Saturday, but I am a big believer in games being important for players.
“At the moment, we are building up a bit of momentum. We missed a big chunk of pre-season, so maybe getting some game time for some players this week will be beneficial.
“We’ll have a look at it after training on Tuesday and make a decision. There will certainly be a good few first-team players involved, especially those who have not had so much action so far. We’ll have a strong team out.”
Rothes could have a depleted squad for the visit of the League Two side, with Wayne MacKintosh, Gary Kerr, Aidan Wilson and Craig Cormack sidelined and Alan Pollock, Jack Brown and Ali Stark doubtful.
Speysiders manager Ross Jack said: “We have done well in the Highland League Cup recently, so it would be nice to get another wee run.
“We know it will be very tough. Elgin will be the overwhelming favourites, but we are playing at Mackessack Park, so we have a right chance.
“We’ve now really got the walking wounded, with quite a few missing and a few fitness tests. We will be down to the bare bones, but we still have the nucleus of a strong enough team.”