Kieran Ingram has enjoyed a perhaps unexpected spell with the first-team of late, owing to some impressive pre-season performances in both training and on the pitch.

The midfielder came off the bench during the ‘Gers 3-2 defeat to Kilmarnock in midweek, and despite the late defeat, the midfielder did admit that he found it exciting to test himself against Scottish Premiership opposition during his post-match interview with Eric Tait.

Both Ingram and Darren Lavery may play a part in Greenock today
Both Ingram and Darren Lavery may play a part in Greenock today

A product of Berwick Rangers Juniors, Ingram embarked upon a football scholarship in the United States prior to joining Berwick’s Under 20’s back in December.

And Head of Youth Coaching Derek McKenzie has admitted that he has been impressed with all the youngsters who have played a part in the ‘Gers first-team season thus far.

“Kyle and Stephen Scott played the first-half for us in the Tranent tournament a few weeks back before Myles (Allan) shoved them in the back of the car and drove them across to Alloa to play in a friendly there.

“John (Coughlin) reported back that the pair had done very well. Kieran put in a shift on the Saturday at Rosyth, and still played on the Sunday at Tranent where he was Man of the Match. He’s so physically strong and he’s come on a bundle.

“When he arrived at the club at Christmas last year he’d come from America, and because he hadn’t had the benefit of a pre-season, we felt he was maybe a yard off the pace.

“But he’s really worked throughout pre-season. He’s swapped between the youth team and first-team and he’s got so much stronger.  I think the reward of that was a totally outstanding performance at Tranent.

“He was able to compete with really experienced Junior players, guys like Darren Smith who used to play for Berwick. There were times were Kieran was proving physically too strong for them. That’s a great example of what we want our younger guys to be able to do.”

Ingram’s spell with the first-team is unlikely to come to a premature end either, with Michael McKenna suspended for the club’s league opener against Arbroath and Ben Stirling ruled out through injury, allowing Ingram a great opportunity to consolidate his role with the first-team so early in the season.