Cadden’s relishing clash with ex-boss
New contract has frontman buzzing
Nicky Cadden admits he’s a big fan of Airdrieonians manager Stephen Findlay.
That won’t prevent him from doing everything to fire Livingston to success when the two teams meet on Saturday in the first competitive fixture of the new campaign, though.
The 21-year-old winger was part of the Diamonds’ youth set-up under Findlay and still keeps in touch with his old boss and former team-mates.
But he is determined to get Livi’s Betfred League Cup challenge off to a perfect start at his old home.
Cadden, who has netted three times in two pre-season friendlies for the Lions, said: “Stevie was the one who brought me in at Airdrie at youth level and I’ve got a lot to thank him for to be honest because he gave me that first step in my career.
“I like Stevie as a man, I’ve got a lot of respect for him, and he’s a very good coach.
“He still texts me every so often and checks in on how I’m getting on.
“It will be good to catch up with him and some of the guys, but obviously I’m there to do a job which is pick up the win for Livingston and get our Betfred campaign off to the best possible start.”
Now entering his third season with the Lions, Cadden admits it was an easy choice to return to the club and get the chance to test himself at the highest level in the country.
He said: “I went on my holidays and came back and weighed up my options but once I spoke to Davie Martindale and there was an offer on the table, it was an easy choice to be honest.
“I’m very happy to be at the club and to have the opportunity to play in the Premiership, so I’m delighted that we could sort that out and that I’m staying.
“It was a brilliant season for the team last year, although it was a bit frustrating at times for me personally with a couple of injuries.
“Winning through the playoffs is actually a bigger buzz than winning the league, to be honest, especially as nobody expected us to do it.”
The former Airdrie man scored twice in a closed-door friendly against Queen’s Park and followed that up with a goal on Friday night in Dumfries, and he says he’s enjoyed playing further forward than the wing-back role he often occupied last term. He said: “I’ve been playing off the front in the two friendlies with Sibbs ( Craig Sibbald) and I’ve been able to get goals.
“I got a couple against Queen’s Park and came off realising that I’d already doubled my tally for last season in the first game.
“It’s a position that I like to play and the gaffer spoke to me and gave me the freedom to get into the pockets and find space, along with Sibbs, and it has worked.”
As for his aims this season, he’s following the same ‘one game at a time’ mantra that worked for the squad last term. He said: “We’re not going to look too far ahead. Obviously staying in the league will be the main aim but we’ll take it one game at a time and just focus on trying to pick up points in our next game.
“We showed last season that we can’t be underestimated and we’ve been able to keep the main core of the players at the club, which was ideal.
“Everybody will may be looking at us and thinking they should be winning, but we’re just worrying about our own game and then seeing where that takes us.”
Up for the cup Livi winger Nicky Cadden