Peterhead boss Jim McInally believes departed loanees Kieran Freeman and Lyall Cameron have big futures – but hopes they may yet return to Balmoor.
With all football in Scotland below the Championship postponed until the end of this month at the earliest Freeman and Cameron have returned to their parent clubs Dundee United and Dundee respectively.
Defender Freeman made 14 appearances for the Blue Toon while winger Cameron had 15 outings for the Buchan outfit, netting three goals.
McInally, who had two spells at both Tannadice and Dens Park during his career, believes both players will go on to do well in full-time football.
He said: “I think both of them will play to some level, Lyall just needs to be given the opportunities, the only thing that counts against him really is that he’s small and sometimes managers don’t like that.
“But if he’s got the right manager then he’ll have a great chance and it’s clear James McPake thinks a lot of him.
“So the chance will be there for Lyall to kick on I would think.
“With Kieran the way he defends is excellent, defending is almost becoming a bit of a dying art, but if Kieran continues to defend the way he has been then he’ll play first-team football in the Premiership.
“Even before he joined us Micky Mellon was giving him chances against the likes of Celtic in the Premiership.
“And he’s got more experience now having been with us. The other thing is Kieran has had two serious knee injuries in his career and you see how brave he is and hopefully he’s got more confidence about him now as well.
“The two of them have been brilliant for us.”
McInally, who made almost 400 appearances for Dundee United and helped them win the 1994 Scottish Cup, hopes there may be the scope to bring Freeman, 20, and 18-year-old Cameron back to Peterhead once there is some indication of when the lower leagues may resume.
The SPFL’s longest serving manager added: “There is scope to bring them back I think. I look at it from Dundee United and Dundee’s point of view as well.
“With the testing situation Kieran and Lyall couldn’t train with them unless they are tested so they had to recall them to allow them to train otherwise they couldn’t be involved with their first teams.
“Our period to bring in loan players has been extended until the end of February so we’ll just need to see what happens.”
McInally says Freeman and Cameron have been a credit to their clubs with the way they have performed for Peterhead and he believes playing games in League One will have benefited the pair in their development.
He said: “Both Kieran and Lyall are a credit to their clubs because if what they’ve shown us is the standard their clubs are setting for them as professionals then they’re getting a great upbringing.
“Coming to ourselves to play games and get away from development football or reserve football has been an no-brainer for them I think.
“I’m delighted with the two of them and for me they’re as good as it gets when it comes to loan players, they’ve been brilliant signings.”