EXCLUSIVE: Peterhead offer up new deal as striker McLean says he’s loved every minute

Peterhead's Russell McLean.
Peterhead's Russell McLean.

Peterhead striker Russell McLean insists he has loved every minute of this season as he considers staying with the club.

The 19-year-old has been offered a contract with the Blue Toon for next season and is weighing up whether he will remain at Balmoor.

The Buchan side missed out on promotion back to League One on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 on aggregate in the play-off final by Stenhousemuir.

McLean is not the only one weighing up his future with Peterhead.

Manager Jim McInally is also considering whether he will remain in charge.

McLean joined the Blue Toon from Lowland League side East Kilbride last summer and the attacker has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Balmoor.

He said: “I’ve been offered a deal at Peterhead and I need to make my mind up.

“I can’t say too much about it.

“There would never have been a doubt in my mind if we’d been promoted.

“I’ll need to wait and see, I’ll need to speak to the gaffer, my agent, my parents and decide.

“I’m still young and another year in League Two wouldn’t hurt.

“And I can’t lie because I’ve loved every minute of this season.

“People say you travel such a long distance to play for Peterhead, but the boys are brilliant.

“Everyone at the club from Jock the kitman to the chairman, everyone is great and nobody can do any more for you, so we’ll see what happens.”

The Blue Toon squad are still coming to terms with the disappointment of missing out on promotion.

At the weekend they were close to taking the tie with Stenny to extra-time.

This despite being without top-scorer Rory McAllister, defenders Jason Brown and Mason Robertson and having captain David McCracken sent off in the second half and Jack Leitch red carded late on.

McLean added: “Saturday sums up the season, I don’t really know what to say.

“We went out with half a team missing and we nearly did it.

“It’s all ifs buts and maybes.

“It’s disappointing because on Saturday we went down to 10 men and we were still the better team and we go down to nine men and we were still pushing.

“When David McCracken was sent off I was at centre-back.

“I look around – Chris Johnston (a winger) is playing left-back, Scott Brown (a central midfielder) is playing centre-back and Jamie Stevenson (a winger) is playing right-back.

“There was no defender between us – it was crazy.

“I think anybody would have written us off on Saturday but we showed the togetherness we have.

“It’s just disappointing the way it ended because the boys have dug in so well.”