by JOSH KANE
SCOTT BALLANTYNE reckons his loan spell at Newmains can bring the best out of him.
The teenage striker secured a season-long switch to Victoria Park from Royal Albert last month.
Ballantyne has found game time hard to come by in recent years.
Now he hopes his spell with United can give him the platform to show what he’s capable of.
Ballantyne, 19, said: “When I was younger I was playing for Gartcairn Amateurs which was a good place to be at the time.
“They had the junior squad and I was always hoping to break into it but unfortunately that didn’t seem to work out.
“I signed for Royal Albert but game time has been limited so I was delighted to get the chance to come to Newmains.
“I hadn’t started many games for Royal Albert so they said it would be good for me to come here to try to get a run of matches and better myself as a player.”
Ballantyne burst onto the scene and quickly made his mark by bagging the 80th-minute winner against Saltcoats Victoria then landed the man-of-the-match award in the Scottish Cup loss to Rosyth.
The strike in Ayrshire netted Newmains their first back-to-back league triumphs for 17 months.
They’ve not managed to register three league victories on the bounce since October 2015.
Ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Ardeer Thistle (2pm KO), Ballantyne said: “It was excellent to end the wait for two wins in a row in the last league game.
“It was a record we didn’t want to have in the first place. We played well throughout the game and we grinded out the win to make it two in a row.
“Grabbing the winner was great for myself and it was good to get off to a great a start at Newmains.
“I’m hoping we can kick on and make it a regular thing now. I also think my goal helps show what I can do and if I can keep sticking the ball in the net hopefully we can start moving up the table.
“The team have come a long way already since last season but it is now important to keep focused and keep the results coming.”
Ballantyne is uncertain where his future lies beyond the current campaign.
But he is happy in North Lanarkshire and believes the setup under Newmains co-bosses Paul Davies and Craig Gupwell has made the move easier for him.
He added: “Both the managers have been excellent and have helped me a lot.
“It’s good to have a close relationship with the managers as well as your teammates and it’s the case here.
“I have been at Albert for a season and they are a good bunch of boys and a good few of the squad are my close mates.
“But I’m looking forward to continuing my time at Newmains for the moment and taking things as they come
“Things can change quickly over time so where I end up next really depends.
“I just need to see how things go over the coming months and then I’ll be able to make a decision at the end of the season.”