A milestone birthday awaits him this weekend- and a new Partick Thistle contract won’t be too far away either for James Penrice.
The left-back has solidified himself in Ian McCall’s Jags first-team this season. He’s made 25 appearances overall this term, and after a difficult start to the season, Thistle are now on a run of just one defeat in five Championship matches.
As he geared up for a round of questions from a band of reporters, his manager let the cat out the bag and dropped his young defender in the deep end.
As he strutted away from his own interviews, McCall told those gathered in the room that Penrice is about to sign a new deal at Firhill. A reporters dream, and Penrice’s beaming smile suggested he was pretty happy about it too.
Building on Partick Thistle success is key for Penrice
As questions were about to be asked, McCall let it be known what he thought of his young defender, hailing him as ‘outstanding.’ It’s clear that Penrice has an admirer in the Jags boss and that’s helped him earn a new deal.
Impressive form has earned the academy graduate that honour too. Thistle will be hoping he goes onto become the next big thing coming out of Firhill, just like such players as Liam Lindsay before him.
Penrice says it’s been a challenging season, but he’s happy that things are finally beginning to look up. A new contract for his time isn’t too bad either.
“In terms of time at the club I’m one of the oldest, but when it comes to the two youngest going in for bibs, I’m still the youngest,” Penrice said. “I feel like I’ve got experience now that I know what it takes to play for the club.
“Getting relegated obviously wasn’t great and I’ve been out on loan a couple of times. It’s been good for my development though and that can only help me improve.
“The new contract is close, the manager’s sprung that one on me! It is massive. I’ve enjoyed every minute since he’s came in and it’s been a breath of fresh air.
“The intensity has perhaps changed. We’re finishing games on top, it doesn’t look like teams are going to run over the top of us. We’ll go to the end and hopefully it continues.
“There’s a real pathway at Thistle. All the boys in the youth academy will spend time around the club. I was at teams in Edinburgh and another big team in Glasgow and it isn’t the same. It’s brilliant.”