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Lyall Cameron flying as Scottish rising star continues to impress at Den’s

Lyall Cameron has had critics raving over his fine form during his past two campaigns for Dundee, as he played a pivotal role in the Dark Blues bouncing straight back up to the Premiership at the first time of asking and has excelled as his side finished in the top half of the table for the first time since 2015.

The midfield dynamo has received wide recognition for his efforts, earning himself a place in the PFA Championship Team of the Year in 2023, and was nominated for PFA Young Player of the Year this season, alongside Rangers’ Ross McAusland, Motherwell’s Lennon Miller, and eventual winner David Watson of Kilmarnock, in addition to a host of Dundee’s Player of the Year awards.

But it all could have been so different for Cameron and his current club, as he started his youth career on the Tangerine side of the city, and he even admits he may not have made a career for any club if it had not been for his courage to take a risk and move on, as well as some key influences on his career.

‘’Football has always been big in my family, my Dad loved football, and I just really took to it. I was kicking a ball in the back garden and in the school playground school from a young age. I must have been about five years old.

 “When I first started playing, I played with Club 83, then I moved to Fairmuir which were one of the best Sunday league teams at the time. I then got scouted by Dundee United and I played with them untiI was about 14. I left Dundee United as I wasn’t getting played in the position I wanted to play in and I wasn’t really enjoying my football anymore. I left United and shortly after joined Dundee and I started enjoying my football again, playing in my preferred position.

“The biggest influence for me was Steve Murray he was my first coach at Dundee when I first moved to the club. He had a great career with Celtic and Scotland so to learn from him was fantastic. But he just made me enjoy football again, he kept it simple and made it fun. If it wasn’t for him I might have given up on playing football.

“Tony [Docherty] has been really good with me, he has brought a good structure to the club and everyone has bought into that. Gordon Strachan is here at Dundee and he has been great with me, always had faith in me and encouraged me, and as said before, Steve Murray was huge for me when I was younger.’’

Cameron has been a mainstay in the Dundee lineup this season, appearing in 29 of their 35 league fixtures at the time of writing, and has even managed to add his name to the scoresheet on 5 occasions. His work rate in midfield alongside the likes of Luke McCowan and Mohamad Sylla has been admired, with Cameron becoming something of a regular in Scot Gemmill’s Scottish under-21s squad, but admits his focus remains firmly on Dundee and anything added is a welcomed bonus.

‘’It would be great to represent your country at senior level but there is a big jump between U21s and the senior squad. But for the moment I am really enjoying playing for the U21s and if the call to the senior squad comes I would be delighted to go and do that.

“I am happy to be playing in a club that is doing well at the moment and the personal recognition is the cherry on top of the cake. But the most important thing for me is that the team is successful.’’

Cameron acts as a great example of a player believing in their ability and knows that the right thing will come for them if they work hard and are patient for it, and his belief has certainly paid off in the last two seasons especially. Cameron was credited as a ‘great professional’ by then Peterhead manager Jim McInally during the COVID season of 2020/21, one in which Cameron struggled for game time. However, when asked to share his advice for young players who want to follow in his footsteps, Cameron admits the key to success is by enjoying your football.

‘’When I went up to Peterhead on loan and I wasn’t getting a game I started to question myself, but deep down I knew I was good enough to play at a higher level.

“Make sure you are enjoying it. Don’t stay at a club if you aren’t enjoying it, go and play somewhere that you are happy to play. Even if you have to drop down a level then do it as the most important thing is to enjoy your football. If you are enjoying your football you will improve as a player.’’

Cameron has been in fine form this season and with two incredible consecutive campaigns both for his club and himself personally, he certainly is a rising star in Scottish Football who is worth keeping an eye on for the remainder of this season and the next, as the Dee look to book their flights on some European adventures.

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