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Full-back Cameron Harper lifted by first goal and new Caley Thistle contract

Caley Thistle's Cameron Harper, right, tussles with Buckie Thistle's Jack Murray during Saturday's 4-0 win for ICT in the SPFL Trust Trophy.
Caley Thistle's Cameron Harper, right, tussles with Buckie Thistle's Jack Murray during Saturday's 4-0 win for ICT in the SPFL Trust Trophy.

Cameron Harper is ready to kick on with Caley Thistle after scoring his first competitive goal and an extended contract to boot.

The local lad signed a deal along with team-mate and fellow Scotland under-21 ace Roddy MacGregor to remain with his home city club until the summer of 2024.

The left-back, who has come through the system at ICT, looks at home in his number three shirt and has racked up six appearances this season to add to last term’s tally of 29.

Caley Thistle defender Cameron Harper, left, with defensive team-mate Robbie Deas.

In the year he gained his first under-21 cap, Harper netted the second goal in the weekend’s 4-0 SPFL Trust Trophy win over Buckie Thistle and then secured his footballing future for the next few years.

The defender was delighted to get the deal done just a few days after hitting the net.

He said: “It’s been a while since I scored. It’s been a good week for me by scoring my first goal for the only club I’ve been at the getting my new deal signed. It’s been a really good week for me.

“I love the place, I’m happy here, it’s where I’m from and my family are here, so I’m delighted to sign the deal.”

Upbeat mood under Billy Dodds

There was little question that he was going to commit to his local side as soon as it became clear head coach Billy Dodds wanted him to become part of his plans.

He added: “I’m delighted to stay here for another two seasons. The boys have started well and it was a no-brainer for me to sign on again.

“There is a good vibe around the place and I’m happy at the club. Since the gaffer as come in, we’ve done well and there is a lot of positivity here.”

Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds.

Harper and MacGregor’s extended deals come hot on the heels of experienced goalkeeper Mark Ridgers also sign contract keeping him at ICT until the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

Partick Thistle fixture is ‘huge game’

Championship leaders Caley Thistle, who have won all four league games 1-0, host their nearest challengers Partick Thistle on Saturday.

An away victory could shoot Partick top of the table depending what Kilmarnock do at home to Morton.

Harper explained confidence is high ahead of this top-of-the-table clash.

He said: “It’s a huge game because they have also started well. Like the Killie game (which ICT recently won 1-0), it’s another big one for us. The boys are buzzing for it. We’ll have a good week at training and hopefully get the three points on Saturday.”

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