Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Ethon Varian: How Raith Rovers’ on-loan Stoke City ace received perfect birthday present

Physical: Varian
Physical: Varian

With a crucial Championship clash against Ayr United on the horizon later that evening, Ethon Varian’s birthday festivities on Tuesday were understandably muted.

A quick FaceTime with family back home — as has become the norm since he departed his native Cork for Stoke City at the age of 16 — was as close as he came to a raucous party.

However, the Raith Rovers attacker had plenty of cause for celebration after rippling the net in the 2-0 victory over the Honest Men.

“To score a goal on my birthday was about the best present I could have asked for,” smiled Varian. Now 19-years-old age, Varian is also growing up as a player.

Varian, No.18, scored his first ever senior goal against Aberdeen

He has notched two goals in his last three games — his leveller in last month’s win over Aberdeen was his first ever senior strike — and is leading the line with maturity and composure for one so young.

Bigger, stronger and older attackers have failed to stand up to the likes of Jack Baird, Aaron Muirhead and Markus Fjortoft the way Varian did during the win at Somerset Park.

His instinctive, predatory goal capped an all-action showing.

“Ayr’s the kind of place where you need to roll up your sleeves and battle,” continued Varian. “It was a tough match. They are physical and aggressive — and I really enjoyed that. I’m more than happy to stand up to that and give as good as I get.”

Indeed, those unforgiving contests, allied with the imperative to claim three points every week, was a key reason he joined Rovers on loan from Stoke City.

“That physicality and edge has been a big difference coming up from under-23 football in England, and that’s something I really wanted,” he continued.

“When you look down south, every defender is a big, strong athlete and this is the test I need if I’m going to be ready for that level.

“Hopefully, I can keep rising to the challenge and keep improving with every game.

“I’ve never been short of self-belief but playing regularly, making the step up to men’s football and scoring regularly can only boost your confidence.”

Replacing Lewis Vaughan

Varian’s progress has been timely.

Raith were rocked by the news that Lewis Vaughan had suffered a fourth ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and is likely to miss the rest of the campaign. It leaves a sizeable void in attack.

Absent: Vaughan

“We were all absolutely devastated for Lewis because he is a big player in the squad and a big character in the dressing room,” continued Varian.

“But we’ll all stick with him, help him get through this and hopefully he’ll be back scoring goals sooner rather than later.

“We want to make sure he comes back into a team that’s in a really good place and that means we all need to chip in and get the goals.”

Celtic tell Raith Rovers that no away fans will be permitted for Premier Sports Cup clash at Parkhead