Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, so the saying goes. Back in August, Partick Thistle youngster James Penrice was prepared, and was desperate for an opportunity to present itself.

Unfortunately for the19-year-old, his luck, and his timing, was a little out. No sooner had Penrice agreed a loan deal with Livingston until January, than Thistle full-backs started dropping like flies.

But far from looking back in anger, Penrice has grabbed the chance that did present itself at the Championship club with both hands, and now he feels that he will be even more prepared to launch his bid for a regular place with Thistle upon his return to Firhill.

“I think I signed for Livingston on the Thursday, went into training on the Friday, and Callum Booth done his knee on the Saturday,” said Penrice.

“A week later, Christie Elliott broke his ankle, so that was a bit of bad luck. More so for them, of course.

“I’m not regretting it now though, it’s been good to go to Livingston and learn more about different ways to play football in a different environment. It’s really been good for me in terms of building my confidence.

“It’s been a good learning curve and I feel I’ve done alright. It was obviously a step up after playing for East Fife last season, but I felt as if I could do it, and I think I’ve handled myself well.

“I would have been one of the oldest in the 20s this season and playing boys that were younger than me, so I don’t think I would be seeing any progression through doing that.

“Being out on loan, that has helped me to grow up a wee bit and challenge myself.

“I still have one more game left against Queen of the South on Saturday. The plan is for me to go back to Thistle after that, and I’ll be on the plane to Spain on Monday."

Penrice was once described by Thistle boss Alan Archibald as the future of the club, and there will no doubt be many supporters that are excited by his return to the Jags after a series of impressive displays in the Championship.

The future didn’t always look so bright for him though. In fact, he was almost lost to the game before Thistle threw him a lifeline.

“I was released by Hibs when I was younger, but in hindsight, it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me,” he said.

“I was just going to play with my pals after that, but luckily, I then got in at Thistle.

“It gives me an incentive to prove that I was good enough and that they shouldn’t have let me go, but I’m not bothered about that now, I just want to focus on Thistle and getting into the first team regularly."

Penrice’s fleeting appearances in a Thistle jersey have come at left-back, but he revealed that the Jags fans should expect to see a player with several more strings now added to his bow.

“The fans can expect a guy that doesn’t pull out a tackle, I definitely learnt that on my loan,” he said.

“My composure has improved, I don’t get flustered on the ball. Hopefully when I go back, everyone is impressed, and I can nail down a place in the team.

“I’ve not really been playing at left-back either, I’ve been playing in central midfield and left midfield.

“Now that I’ve played well in that position, I think it could be a position for me in the future. But it just depends on what the manager wants from me.

“I’ll play anywhere to get into the team.”