Lyall Cameron is knocking on the Dundee first-team door after returning from a successful loan spell at Peterhead.
The 18-year-old scored three times in 15 appearances for the League One outfit and has returned saying “I know the game a lot better” after his time with the Blue Toon.
Cameron was set to make an instant return to the Dark Blues matchday squad on Saturday against Ayr, only for that clash to be hit by a late call off from referee David Munro.
Rated highly by Dundee boss James McPake, Cameron made three appearances – the first as a 16-year-old – last season, including a start against Dunfermline in January 2020.
McPake was delighted his time at Balmoor went so well.
“I was really pleased to read Jim McInally’s quotes and how Lyall was a credit to our club and himself,” said McPake.
“He obviously made a real good impression in his 15 games at Peterhead. I’m not surprised.
“He was going to be on the bench for us against Ayr on Saturday which shows how we felt he’d done.”
‘I feel completely different going back to Dundee’
The attacking midfielder netted in wins over Clyde and East Fife in League One as well as a consolation against Falkirk.
Going out and getting a consistent taste of senior first-team football has been invaluable for the youngster.
And he wants more of the same on his return to Dens Park.
He told the Evening Express: “I feel completely different going back to Dundee and trying to get game time compared with before.
“I feel like I know the game a lot better, even though I only played 15 games.
“But I feel like I learned a lot and I know I still have a lot to learn and a lot I can work on.
“But I’m going to do that at Dundee and try to get some game time, I learned a lot at Peterhead and if the chance was there I’d be keen to go back.”
Cameron committed his future to Dens Park in October, signing on until 2023, just a day before heading north on loan to Peterhead.
Though he wants first-team football with the Dark Blues, he says he’d be more than happy to head back to work for Jim McInally if he has to wait a little longer.
“I’ve absolutely loved my time with Peterhead, everyone’s been brilliant with me from the boys, to the staff, to the people behind the scenes,” Cameron added.
“It’s just such a well-run, tight-knit club where everyone gets on and I’ve enjoyed being part of it.
“Getting the chance to play football at adult level and at a good level has been really good for me.
“If the league restarts and the chance was there to go back to Peterhead it would definitely be something I’d be willing to do because I’ve loved my time there and it’s a great club.”
McInally ‘a great guy to work with’
On playing for Scotland’s longest serving manager in McInally, a former Dundee player himself, at Peterhead, Cameron said: “From day one Jim gave me confidence and freedom and that’s massive for a player.
“He’s a great guy to work with and I think the reason he’s been at Peterhead so long is because he’s so good at things like man-management and the way he sets the team up.
“I really enjoyed playing under him and he’s been really good for me.
“Peterhead are not in a bad position in the league and, hopefully, if things start up again they can push for top four.
“Jim and Davie Nicholls (assistant manager) and everyone at the club have been brilliant with me.”