Cammy Palmer – an insight to our new signing from Rangers
Cameron – or ‘Cammy’ as he’s known as – was born in York, England but was raised in Toronto, Canada, where his family moved to when he was eight months old. His mother is Scottish, from Edinburgh and his father, Don, is from Belfast which is where his Northern Ireland links come from. Don is a pastor and got a job at a church in Canada. At the age of five Cammy started playing football, or soccer as the Canadians would call it. Don was a football coach and his brothers also played football when they were younger which ignited his love for the game. He played for three youth teams – Pickering SC, Ajax SC and Whitby Iroquois SC – all based around the Ontario area of Canada. It was whilst playing for Whitby where Cammy had a breakthrough moment when he was spotted playing by former Rangers (and Portadown amongst many others!) centre forward Andy Kennedy – who coached in the Rangers Soccer Schools programme in North America – and he duly alerted his former Club to the youngster’s talents.
Cammy and his family moved to Scotland in 2011 which opened the door for a trial with Rangers which ultimately proved successful and he joined the Glasgow giants’ Youth Academy. Rangers were in Administration at the time so the trial period was that bit longer than usual. The midfielder continued to develop and impress through the ranks before being named as the Club’s reserve team captain in 2018 and led the team to league title success.
Palmer was on the fringes of the Rangers first team when Steven Gerrard took the reigns at Ibrox and he did make the squad for a Betfred Cup match against Ayr United, but his first team debut never came, unfortunately.
He was contracted with Rangers up until this summer after signing a professional two-year extension in July 2019.
Partick Thistle loan
Partick Thistle handed Cammy a professional debut in a win over Airdrie in the Scottish League Cup days after he joined on loan in July 2019.
Cammy scored his first professional goal and was ‘Man of the Match’ in Partick Thistle’s 3-1 win away to Inverness CT.
At Inverness he played alongside Kenny Miller, a prolific goalscorer over many years for Rangers and other clubs, and the experienced striker tipped him to become a top talent, stating that Palmer “is comfortable on the ball” and added “the more he gets used to men’s football and first team football he’ll get better and better.”
The midfielder made 13 appearances and scored one goal for Partick Thistle in the Scottish Championship on his loan from July 2019 until January 2020.
After the expiration of his Partick Thistle loan deal, an interesting move was on the cards for the 20 year-old this time last year. As a result of Rangers’ partnership with Orange County SC – a Club based in California, America – Cammy was heading the USL Championship side on loan, along with fellow ‘Gers teammates Danny Finlayson and Matthew Shiels. Former Rangers duo Rob Kiernan and Harry Forrester were also at the club.
Palmer was a popular figure at Orange County SC and put in some strong performances. He scored two goals in 13 appearances for the Club. One of his goals – a 20 yard thunderbolt – finished third in the Club’s vote for goal of the year. His other goal was an intelligent glancing header.
The Coronavirus pandemic struck when Cammy was Stateside, but reflective of the character he is renowned to be, he opted to turn a negative into a positive by putting his time into a University course on social psychology when the USL season was suspended from March 12 until July 11.
When Cammy returned from his loan spell in the States he joined Clyde on loan in October. Unfortunately, his stint at the Scottish League One side was a very unlucky time. The energetic central midfielder received his debut four hours after signing – and then picked up an injury ten minutes in. After returning from injury he only got to make two further appearances and in one of them he was voted as runner up in the Man of the Match poll. A frustrating spell was compounded last month as the Scottish League One season was halted for three weeks in line with the ongoing pandemic situation and this ultimately brought an end to his time at Clyde who thought highly of the player.
Having grown up in Canada for 11 years and having a Scottish mother, Cammy could represent either nation at international level, and indeed he did represent the latter at u17 level. However, the midfielder now represents Northern Ireland level due to his father, Don, being a native of Belfast. Cammy received a call-up to the Northern Ireland u19 team in 2018 and he made three appearances, scoring one goal. He was then called up to the u21 team by Ian Baraclough – now of course the senior international manager – and he has made eight appearances for the u21 team to date.
A new chapter begins for Cammy who has received countless messages of goodwill from his previous clubs as he joins Linfield on an 18 month contract. The central midfielder is described as neat and tidy on the ball, can keep play ticking and also good at the defensive side of a midfielder’s responsibilities. A warm welcome to Cammy who the Linfield fans will look forward to seeing in the royal blue jersey and we all wish him every success for his time at Windsor Park.