BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Luke Leahy insists he is relishing his Champions League standard apprenticeship at Falkirk after heaping praise on Bairns coach Alan Maybury.
The 23-year-old has kick-started his career with the Championship outfit following manager Peter Houston’s decision to employ him in an unfamiliar left-back role last term.
Leahy has not looked back since, scoring three goals this season alone and providing a constant menace with his marauding runs from deep.
And he credits Maybury – currently cutting his teeth in a coaching capacity at Falkirk – with much of his progress as he draws on the experience of the former Ireland international full-back.
Leahy reckons the ex-Leeds United defender, who crossed swords with the likes of Pavel Nedved, Sinisa Mihajlovic and Marcelo Salas in the Champions League, is the perfect mentor.
He said: “I’m enjoying the left-back role, but I am still learning this position. I have only been playing at left-back for 12 months and there is plenty more I can do.
“I would say Alan Marbury has been vital and I do a lot of work with him. I’ll talk to him after matches and go through a few things. He has performed in the Champions League and I don’t think there is anyone better I could be learning from.
“He’s always telling me to put my arms up and he’s got plenty of tips for making sure the winger doesn’t come back at you again. It’s great to have someone like that at the club.
“He’s still registered as a player, too, so he’s doing the business in training – holding a good line, getting the arms up in the air and throwing elbows!
“He’s the same player he always was and is giving me plenty of things I’m adding to my game.”
Falkirk will be able to call upon the form striker in the Championship for their trip to Queen of the South today, with former Palmerston Park striker John Baird looking to add to his remarkable tally of eight goals in his last four matches.
And Leahy revealed that Baird’s teammates are going to extraordinary lengths to keep pace with the on-fire front-man.
He continued: “He’s been injured recently as well, so he’s been using a hot-water bottle on his neck, just to soothe the pain. So we’re all using them now – maybe we can get a few goals as well.
“I’ve tried it and I scored against Alloa last week, so there might be something to it!
“Hopefully John can do the business against his old club – I’m sure he’ll be looking forward to that challenge. He is in brilliant form at the moment and it gives everyone in the team confidence.
“He’s scoring goals, working hard and contributing to the team in ways that people don’t even notice.”
With Falkirk currently on a run of four successive wins – including 5-0 triumphs over Dumbarton and Alloa – the Bairns are aiming to keep pace with Rangers and Hibs at the summit of the Championship.
Leahy added: “We can match any team in this league on our day and I think we have shown that in the last few games.”