Saints U20s vs. Dundee United U20s Preview

Sunday 22nd April

Following on from picking up a big point against Hamilton last week, Saints Under 20s captain Ali McCann is hoping his side can round off the season with a good performance against Dundee United on Monday.

The midfielder, who made his first team debut earlier this season, is hoping that rounding off the 20s season in style can help him break into the first team and pick up more minutes on Saturdays before the end of the season.

Speaking after Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with the Accies, Ali told the club official website: “It’s good to keep a clean sheet. We’ve been struggling defensively throughout the season. It’s good to pick up as many points as we can, especially towards the end of the season to keep it going.

“After working hard, it would have been disappointing not to take anything. I don’t think either team deserved to win the game, so I think a draw is a fair result.”

The Saints number 37 came off the bench in Coatbridge earlier in the season as Saints beat Albion Rovers 4-0 in the Scottish Cup to make his debut – a proud moment for the youngster – and was also on the bench during Saturday’s defeat at Dens Park.

And the experience has only fuelled Ali’s desire to pick up more first team minutes.

He added: “Hopefully I can push on and keep training. If there’s nothing to play for and the manager puts me in and gives me a chance, it would be great.

“I just want to get as much game time as I can, keep training and hopefully get a place in the first team. If I get a chance, I’d love to do well and keep a place.

“I’m most comfortable in the centre of midfield but I can play wherever I’m needed. I’m quite versatile.”

The eighteen-year-old has been at McDiarmid since becoming a teenager, and hotshot Ali hasn’t looked back since joining the Perth club.

Ali explained: “It’s my fifth year now. I joined in the under 15s season, played two years at under 17s and this is my second-year full time.

“Before Saints, I was at a boys club in Edinburgh called Hutchison Vale who were local for me. Alistair (Stevenson) took me here and I’ve been here since.”

Tomorrow’s under 20s match against Dundee United takes place at McDiarmid Park, kick off 6pm. Admission tomorrow night is £5 for adults, £2 for concessions and FREE to Saints season ticket holders.

Picture: Ali making his first team debut against Albion Rovers in January