At 17, Dundee United youngster Kai Fotheringham has just fulfilled a lifelong dream by scoring the winning goal for his boyhood heroes Falkirk to clinch a dream trip to Celtic Park.
That dream could become even more magical in the coming weeks as he spends the next ten games trying to help loan club Bairns clinch the League One title.
By the summer, Fotheringham will be 18 and bidding to fight it out with Lawrence Shankland, Marc McNulty, Nicky Clark and Louis Appere for a place in the United frontline.
— Ewan Smith (@ewansmithpr) March 24, 2021
And while it could be a career-defining two months for Fotheringham, this is a young player with the talent and attitude to succeed.
Moments after his late winner in the 2-1 Scottish Cup win over Arbroath, Fotheringham conducted an eloquent post-match interview outlining his hopes and aspirations for what will surely be a golden future.
His handling of the questions was every bit as impressive as the finish that marked his first professional strike.
In short, Fotheringham is one to watch and the decision to make the loan switch to Falkirk, alongside United team-mate Lewis Neilson, could prove to be the best one he ever makes.
‘Made sense to go to Falkirk on loan’
“It’s a hard point in the season for Dundee United,” said Fotheringham.
“They aren’t in the top six but they are not going to get relegated. As a young player you aren’t going to get much game time in that scenario.
“That’s why it makes a lot of sense for me to come to Falkirk, not just because they are my local team.
“I will get a different experience and try to win games we need to get the title.
“I get a lot of support from Dundee United. The backroom staff are great and will continually drip-feed information to me.
“I need to listen to their feedback, take it on board and keep improving.
“I also know there are players at United I can learn from. Marc McNulty is very experienced and has moved up from Reading, he has helped me a lot so far,
“Lawrence Shankland can score goals for fun and we have talented wide players who can give me advice to try and succeed.”
Fotheringham got off to a blistering start at his hometown team since making the move to Bairns earlier this month.
He was picked out by co-manager Lee Miller – a former United striker – as being the star of the show in Falkirk’s 2-0 League 1 win over Montrose at the weekend and now he is dreaming of his trip to face Celtic.
Boyhood dream for Dundee United kid
“It’s a boyhood dream to score for my local club,” said Fotheringham. “It’s even more amazing to get one that means so much.
“I was a Falkirk fan as a boy and went to a lot of games. I still live in Falkirk now.
“I’ve been to two Scottish Cup Finals as a fan. I was at the games with Rangers and Inverness and even though we lost both of them it was a fantastic occasion to be in a big crowd as a fan.
“I’ve now got the chance to play for Falkirk at Celtic Park and that’s like a dream come true for me.
“I’ve got to grab the moment with both hands and not be scared to go there to try and win.
“It would have been a brilliant day out for the Falkirk fans to go out and experience the atmosphere at Celtic Park so I feel for them.
“It’s disappointing but there is nothing we can do about it but put on a show for them.
“There’s a lot happening at Falkirk. I came here to get games and improve on certain aspects of my game and didn’t give Celtic a second thought.
‘I’ll have to work for a starting place at Falkirk’
“I also didn’t think about the league but I hope we can get enough points to win a league title and I can go back to Dundee United on a high to try and get in the plans.
“It doesn’t always work out that way in football. You have to work hard to impress wherever you go.
“I have to impress the gaffer at Falkirk just as much as I have to impress Dundee United.
“I can’t just assume I’ll play because Falkirk have taken me on loan – I’ll have to work for it.”