|SAMUEL HOPES TO DO IT LIKE SCOTLAND|
|St Johnstone's latest recruit Collin Samuel is hoping to emulate the impact made in Perth by fans’ favourite Jason Scotland after signing a two-year contract yesterday.
The former Dundee United and Falkirk man has followed the lead of his fellow Trinidad and Tobago internationalist by making the move to McDiarmid Park, and comparisons between the two strikers will be inevitable.
Samuel knows that he has a big act to live up to—albeit with a one-year gap between his arrival and Scotland’s departure.
He said yesterday, “I know that Jason was a big success here and had a great season before moving to Swansea.
“Hopefully I can be successful here, too, and help St Johnstone into the Premier League.
“I played with Derek (McInnes) at Dundee United and we have a good understanding. Next season should be a good one for us.
“I know that there will be tough competition for places with the strikers at the club but that is a good thing as it brings out the best in you when you are fighting for a spot in the team.”
Samuel, whose next involvement with Trinidad and Tobago could be in a June friendly against England, stated that he didn’t consider any offers other than that from Saints.
He said, “I spent six weeks here training so I know the boys here already. I didn’t even think about going anywhere else.”
As far as Perth boss McInnes is concerned, he believes that the 26-year-old will give first division defences a torrid time.
McInnes revealed that he had tried to sign Samuel during the January transfer window but at that point he had to return to play for Major League Soccer side Toronto.
Samuel has now been allowed to terminate his contract with the Canadian outfit, however, and McInnes was quick off the mark to make his move.
He explained, “We stepped in straight away to get Collin when he became available to try and make this happen because we were disappointed not to get him before.
“I think he enjoyed the experience in Canada for the year he was out there but his wife and child weren’t able to join him there so he found it difficult being away from his family.
“From what I’ve seen of him when he trained with us a few months ago and in a closed doors game, I feel that he is a more complete player than the one I played with at United and that’s an exciting prospect.
“The last time he played in the first division a few seasons ago he tore it up with Falkirk and hopefully he can do the same again.”
As for parallels that may be drawn with Scotland, he observed, “They’re different types of striker and it would be unfair on Sammy to compare them.
“He’s got pace to burn and knows his way to goal. He’s probably a bit more versatile than Jason and can play either through the middle or out wide.
“Sammy knows the players, the club and the division and has worked with myself and Tony Docherty before as well.”
McInnes still hopes to recruit a target man to cover all bases in the attacking department for next season’s campaign.
He said, “All four of the strikers that I now have—Collin, Peter MacDonald, Steven Milne and Andy Jackson—will cause problems for defenders with their movement and I need someone who could cause problems physically.”
The other two positions McInnes is looking to fill are left-back and goalkeeper and he also wants to tie up Jody Morris on a new deal. (May 6, 2008, The Courier)