Gary is another blooming product of the Youth policy at the Academy. He has gone through the ranks, playing for the City Youth and B sides last season. Royle became impressed with the youngster after his flourishing display in the friendly against Jamaica, and he soon figured in the line-ups for Citys pre-season friendlies, often coming on as a substitute.
Although the 1998/99 season proved to be a tough battle for the blues, Gary got the chance to show his potential and getting a place in the Scottish U20 team. He got 19 games during his first season, and would have been an obvious choice as young player of the year, had it not been for Nicky Weaver. The following 1st division campaign proved to be a tougher battle for a place in the team, and with players like Brown, Pollock and Bishop before him in the queue, it may be hard to defend those 19 appearances from last season.
After being considered as one of the most promesing prospects for two years, and being in the squad without playing a full league game for just as long, it was only a matter of time before Gary had to find himself a new playing ground. In December 2000 Scottish club Dunfermline offered to take over his services and Joe Royle agreed to give the youngster a free transfer to help boost his career.