Cameron Harper is living the dream of any young Caley Thistle player.
The ever-improving left-back is a part of a quartet of teenagers who have grasped their opportunity this season with both hands.
Harper has come through the club’s youth system with Daniel MacKay and Roddy MacGregor, both of whom have featured regularly in the first team this season.
Kai Kennedy, the talented winger on loan from Rangers, has been added to the mix and made a big impression on the team’s performances.
Harper has been around the senior squad since the 2017-18 season but is still only 19. The departure of club captain Carl Tremarco this summer provided him with an opportunity and he has not looked back.
He said: “Getting this run of games, for me, is brilliant. It is all you want to do really as a young boy. I’m loving my football, learning every day with the gaffer and some of the senior pros. It is good for my development.
“Being on the pitch, you notice more the fine margins. The communication, weight of pass, taking the sting out of the game through game management. The older boys have definitely helped all of the older boys like myself.
“Roddy, Kai, Dan and myself – they’re always speaking to us and helping us through games. That gives us a lot of confidence, with them telling us what we’re doing right and what we can do better.
“Me, Dan and Roddy have played all the way through the youths together and Kai is our age as well. It helps as we’re all in a similar situation, all learning. It’s not as daunting as it would be on your own.”
Harper, who looks set to keep his place for today’s game against Alloa, has been impressed with how the youngsters have stepped up to the plate.
The Caley Jags started the season with injuries to more senior players, such as Sean Welsh, Aaron Doran and Kevin McHattie, with Harper, MacGregor and MacKay the beneficiaries.
Harper added: “We’ve all done well. We had a crazy start with the amount of injuries, but we’ve all just rallied together with the boys coming back.
“The gaffer says if you’re performing every week, make sure you keep your short and don’t let anyone else in. You know you have to keep performing to stay in the team.
“I’d say I’m getting better, particularly with the physicality of it – I feel like I’ve adapted to it well.
“I’ve done more gym work, speaking to Ryan Esson, Scott Kellacher and doing extra gym work. It’s men’s football which I hadn’t – and still haven’t – played an awful lot of. It’s definitely helping me progress.”