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Peterhead: Owen Cairns keen to test himself in SPFL after loan switch from Fraserburgh

Fraserburgh defender Owen Cairns, centre, who has signed for Peterhead
Fraserburgh defender Owen Cairns, centre

New Peterhead signing Owen Cairns is eager to test himself at the highest level after joining on loan from Highland League side Fraserburgh.

Cairns has joined the League One side initially on a loan deal until the end of the season, when his contract with the Broch expires.

The defender becomes Peterhead’s third signing of the January window, after the arrival of Conor Cullen and Rico Quitongo. Manager Jim McInally had been on the look-out for a new right-back after Josh Mulligan returned to parent club Dundee.

Cairns had been looking for the opportunity to test himself at a higher level and felt a move to the Broch’s neighbours Peterhead would be the ideal opportunity.

He said: “It’s exciting to get the chance to play with Peterhead, a team of real quality. I’ve always made it known I want to play at the highest level and I push myself every day.

Owen Cairns celebrates scoring for Fraserburgh against Formartine in 2019
Owen Cairns celebrates scoring for Fraserburgh against Formartine in 2019

“I played against Peterhead for Fraserburgh so I think the manager was aware of what I had to offer. I’m thankful to the two club for making it almost seamless.

“The manager didn’t have to sell it to me. He offered me the opportunity to go and play League One football; coming from the Highland League, I’m probably not recognised as one of the big players you would like to sign but I want to go and challenge myself at a high level.

“Jim McInally thankfully has given me the opportunity and it’s up to me to take it.”

Cairns started his career in the youth academy at Ross County, before moving to Strathspey Thistle in 2015.

He moved to Turriff United two years later and earned a switch to Fraserburgh in 2019, where he picked up three pieces of silverware.

The 23-year-old physiotherapist insists he is not thinking beyond the rest of this season, with regards to a potential permanent transfer in the summer.

Cairns added: “I want to be completely respectful to Fraserburgh. Although I’m on loan at Peterhead I’m technically a Fraserburgh player until the end of the season.

“At that point, I will review things and look forward to whatever challenge comes next. You don’t know what’s going to happen next season but I will be giving 100 percent to impress the manager.

Peterhead manager Jim McInally
Peterhead manager Jim McInally

“Fraserburgh were really good with me. They offered me a two-year deal but because of my own personal circumstances and ambition, I decided not to sign and to wait until my contract was up to review my situation.

“I ended up surplus to requirements through no fault of anybody. They needed that commitment from boys going forward and they brought in Ross Aitken, who has settled really well.

“I got the opportunity to get some football at Peterhead until the end of the season on this loan deal, which I couldn’t reject.”

He is in line to make his debut this weekend in the game with East Fife, with Peterhead chasing points to get back in the top half of the table.

Cairns added: “We’ve got a game to win and we’ll be going out to get three points. As soon as I step over the white line, that’s all that’s on my mind.

“It’s an exciting time for Peterhead and that reflects how I feel at the moment. I will be out there to help the team and see how high up the league we can get.”

  • Peterhead will have their Scottish Cup last-16 tie with Premiership side Dundee screened live by BBC Scotland. The Blue Toon, who beat East Kilbride 5-3 on penalties last weekend, will face James McPake’s side on Monday February 14, with a 7.45pm kick-off.

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