John McGlynn reckons tireless striker Ethon Varian has been an unsung hero during Raith Rovers’ remarkable unbeaten run.
Displaying a maturity and physicality beyond his years, the on-loan Stoke City kid has become an invaluable asset — despite a modest goal return of two in 20 appearances.
That was underlined at the weekend when he drew Alan Lithgow into two fouls which resulted in the defender’s dismissal, greasing the wheels for Rovers’ to defeat Morton 2-1.
Ethon Varian's goal today 🇮🇪
— Rep of Ireland Player Tracker (@RepTracker) August 15, 2021
Now on an 11-game unbeaten run, Raith boss McGlynn said: “The work rate of Ethon Varian causes all sorts of problems for defenders.
“He was involved in two free-kicks where the lad [Alan] Lithgow has brought him down — two yellow cards — and that makes it a little more comfortable for us, to be playing against 10 men.
“Ethon puts in a lot of the work, does so much graft.
“He’s not really getting the breaks in front of goal — he hasn’t had loads of chances — but his hard work is allowing others to get goals.
“Aidan [Connolly], Dario [Zanatta] and Ethan [Ross] are reaping the benefits from Ethon attracting the central defenders with his hard work.
“From a manager’s point of view, that’s great.
“Ethon Varian would love to score more goals, no doubt. But he is doing a good job for the team.”
Indeed, when Varian does add a clinical touch to his game — and his goal tally with Stoke City’s U23 side suggests that is inevitable — McGlynn believes he will be a special striker.
“He has a lot of little touches and he causes defenders problems,” continued McGlynn.
“He’s a strong boy, he rolls his body well, takes the ball in well and links the play superbly.
“If he could just get on the end of one or two crosses that come in, then he would have the full package.”