2nd December 2023

Published: 2nd December 2023

Six of our up-and-coming youngsters continue to cut their teeth in the world of senior football across the SPFL pyramid with their respective loan spells away from Tannadice. It’s time to check in with them to review their contributions throughout November.

Miller Thomson - Montrose

Deployed in central midfield, Miller Thomson started four competitive fixtures throughout the month, putting no fewer than 355 minutes under his belt. 

Thomson and Montrose kicked off November in style as the Angus outfit dismantled relegation-threatened Edinburgh City in the capital.

The 19-year-old added number four at Meadowbank whilst also registering an assist in a resounding 5-1 victory. It’s a result that pushed Stewart Petrie’s side back up to third in the League One table.

After securing further starts in subsequent fixtures against Annan Athletic and Cove Rangers, he missed Montrose’s Scottish Cup Third Round tie against Edinburgh City.

On Tuesday, he was reintroduced to the starting XI with Falkirk the visitors to Links Park. 

The sides played out a goalless draw under the floodlights - the Bairns remaining undefeated in the third tier and Montrose holding on to their place in the top four.

Logan Chalmers - Ayr United

Following a stellar start to his second temporary stint at Somerset Park, which featured seven goal contributions from ten Championship starts, Logan Chalmers has suffered a slight stutter in his Ayr United exploits.

The Honest Men hosted Queen’s Park on Matchday 11 and, despite taking a two-goal lead, they failed to put three points on the board, conceding twice in the closing stages of the match.

Seven days later, the Academy graduate was withdrawn at half-time in the Highlands, then was ineligible to be included in the matchday squad for Ayr’s Scottish Cup Round Three matchup with Peterhead. 

Despite Chalmers’ absence, Lee Bullen’s side progressed after a tense period of extra time at Balmoor, and are set to take on Kelty Hearts in the Fourth Round.

Closing in on 1,000 minutes in all competitions this season, he has started every league match since his switch to south.

In the upcoming weeks, Ayr take on both title challengers, ourselves and Raith Rovers, with the on-loan wideman unable to play in the former.

Lewis O’Donnell - Kelty Hearts 

Lewis O’Donnell is one of just 12 players in the entirety of the third tier yet to miss a league match this season.

Thriving at New Central Park on the left of a midfield quadrant, the 18-year-old is a crucial cog in the Kelty wheel which has powered them into the play-off places, as the Maroon Machine eye a spot in the Championship for the first time in their history. Should that feat be achieved, it would mark their third promotion in just four seasons.

O’Donnell was named in the XI for league fixtures against Annan Athletic, fellow promotion hopefuls Cove Rangers and Queen of the South, playing a combined 261 minutes of senior football across the three matches. 

The midfielder embarks on his last month with Michael Tidser’s men, with Kelty set to face trips to both high-flying Falkirk and Hamilton Academical throughout December.

Layton Bisland - Falkirk

November saw Layton Bisland reach the milestone of double-figure appearances with League One leaders Falkirk.

An expansive draw at Palmerston at the beginning of the month brought his second consecutive start in the dark blue of the Bairns. 

Subsequently, a 22-minute cameo from Bisland at The Falkirk Stadium aided the hosts’ efforts to see out a narrow 2-1 victory over Edinburgh City.

As per the terms of his loan agreement, the full-back was unable to contribute in the SPFL Trust Trophy Quarter Final against the Terrors. However, after a resounding 4-2 win, our first defeat in 17, Bisland will be in the frame to feature in the Last Four of the competition against The New Saints.

Set to spend the entirety of the 2023/24 campaign in Stirlingshire, the 19-year-old was given the green light to appear in the Scottish Cup, climbing from the bench with just under half an hour remaining of Falkirk’s drubbing of Formartine United.

John McGlynn’s men remain perched at the summit of the table, yet to taste defeat in the league this season. 

This record puts them three points ahead of nearest challengers Hamilton Academical heading into a jam-packed December in which the sides face off in Lanarkshire.

Rory MacLeod - Forfar Athletic

Just three months into a temporary spell with the Loons, Tannadice prodigy Rory MacLeod has almost already surpassed his 2022/23 gametime tally, boasting just shy of 500 League Two minutes

A 1-1 draw with Clyde in Angus marked his fifth start in light blue, bookended by substitute appearances against table-topping Stenhousemuir and Elgin City respectively.

In his final few weeks at Station Park, United’s youngest-ever player is in line to feature in clashes with Stranraer, The Spartans, Dumbarton, Peterhead and East Fife.

Bryan Mwangi - The Spartans

Bryan Mwangi’s wait for his senior debut is finally over. 

The midfielder made his Spartans bow four minutes from time in an eventual 2-3 loss to Stenhousemuir - the capital outfit’s first defeat in eight matches.

Mwangi was an unused substitute in Spartans’ shock Scottish Cup Third Round triumph over Arbroath - a result which set up a mouth-watering, all-Edinburgh Fourth Round fixture against Heart of Midlothian. 

Having penned a season-long loan deal, the United youngster is eligible to play in cup competition.

Spartans retain their place in the play-offs heading into a five-game festive period, three points ahead of fifth-placed Bonnyrigg Rose.