Feb 18 2011 By Fraser Wilson
AUSSIE ace Ryan McGowan reckons he can launch Partick Thistle's season onto a new level - quite literally.
The gangly midfield maestro joined Ian McCall's outfit on loan from Hearts on Tuesday and was flung straight into the starting 11 against Cowdenbeath just hours later.
And he made an immediate impression on his new gaffer after propelling a series of long-distance throws right into the Beath danger area.
Adelaide-born McGowan, 21, has never had his throw measured and only discovered the knack for the super-shy while on loan at Ayr last season.
But he reckons it could be a key weapon as the Jags look to break into the first division's top four.
McGowan told the Glaswegian: "I never actually realised I had such a long throw-in until I went to Ayr last season and played on the left of midfield for a couple of games.
"It just seems to come naturally and if it's enough to get me in the team then that's fine by me.
"I've never had my throw measured but it can be a good weapon. Partick already have a rehearsed routine for Paddy Boyle who has a good throw so with one of us on each side it could be very useful.
"If we can treat it like a corner then it means we can hopefully carry more of an attacking threat."
McGowan, who featured for Australia in the 2009 FIFA under 20 World Cup, is in his fourth year with the Jambos where his younger brother Dylan is also a full time professional.
The elder brother has had limited opportunities to establish himself with the Jambos, making only four first team appearances so far after his debut against Gretna in the SPL in May 2008.
However, the 6ft 3in powerhouse is highly regarded by Hearts boss Jim Jefferies who was keen for McGowan to join fellow Jambo Conrad Balatoni on loan at Firhill.
"Jim Jefferies told me this was a good opportunity to get games under my belt at a good club," McGowan said.
"There is no reserve league in the SPL so I wasn't getting much action which was frustrating. My brother's in the same boat so he has gone on loan to East Fife.
"I remember playing at Firhill last season while I was on loan at Ayr and I knew it was a big club with a big support so I was only too glad to come here.
"It's a chance to get games under my belt in a good side and I like the big pitch at Firhill.
"I'm a box-to-box player and I like to help out at both ends of the park. I scored one goal at Ayr last season but it would be good to add to that with Thistle."
McGowan is in line to make his home debut for the Jags against Falkirk tomorrow as McCall's men look for a third consecutive Firhill victory against Steven Pressley's side.
The sickness bug which swept through Firhill last week seems to have departed for good leaving McCall with a full squad from which to choose.
Captain Alan Archibald is in line to make his 350th appearance for the club.