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New Signing: Craig Samson

Four years after leaving St Mirren, goalkeeper Craig Samson has today signed a two-year deal to make a return to The Buddies.

Craig, who has played with Kilmarnock and Motherwell over the last four seasons, was part of St Mirren's 2013 League Cup wining side and the keeper admits that it is good to be back with Saints as he has some unfinished business to do.

I’ve been here in the past and loved my time while I was at the club. To be honest I didn’t want to leave the club but at the time Danny [Lennon] and Tommy [Craig] had different ideas in what way they were going to go in the goalkeeping department and I think it was probably best for us to go our separate ways. But there was certainly unfinished business for me here where I felt it wasn’t time for me to go so when I got the opportunity to come back it was never in doubt that I was going to come and I’m absolutely delighted to be here again. Hopefully we can take on the form that the team showed at the end of last season and take it into this year.

Craig continues a recent trend of former Buddies coming back to St Mirren and admits that the pull to rejoin Saints was too great.

I have a massive affinity with the club. I think even in telling my family last night that I was coming back they were all absolutely delighted as this is a place where they are very comfortable as well as me, it does feel like this is my club to be honest. I know I grew up as a Kilmarnock fan and went back there when I left here but to be honest coming here yesterday, meeting the manager, walking back into the place and seeing some familiar faces it does feel like coming home. I feel that there is a great affinity with the club and something that we can do is go and have a special year this year.

The keeper believes that he returns to Paisley as a more experienced keeper and he will be using that to help along recent signing Ross Stewart who will go head to head with Craig for the starting keeper's spot.

I’ve definitely went and learned a lot.  I’ve played a lot of games, played three seasons in the Premiership and not missed much football so I think you certainly learn as a goalkeeper all the time and you can always be improving. I know that the manager has a young squad here and he has a few older players that he is hoping will certainly do well but you have got to help the young players round about you with the experience that you have from before. That is something that I think I can bring to the team, help out defensively and help to organise also I know the manager has just signed young Ross Stewart as another goalkeeper so we’ll have a battle on our hands seeing who will play come the season but I think there is certainly experience that I can bring to the team.

Jamie [Langfield] is obviously here as goalkeeping coach and available to play as well so his job is to develop Ross, develop myself and the other younger goalkeepers here but I’ll certainly be helping Ross the same way I have with any other goalkeeper that I’ve been with. There will be a battle to get into the team but ultimately everybody always says that there is a goalkeeper’s union and we will be helping each other and pushing each other on. That only makes for good competition and certainly I’ll be there to help him if he needs any advice or with anything he needs.

When asked about his aims for the new season Craig get straight to the point.

Promotion, I don’t think there is any doubt. There is no point in sugar-coating it and saying we want to do well and take on next season. I came here as I spoke to the manager, James Fowler and Jamie, and the aim for the club is to take the form we had last year into next year and if we take that form in then there is no doubt that there is a possibility that we can go up so I’m not going to come in here and say we just want to improve on last year. We don’t want to do that, we want to go and push as high up the league as we can and try to get into the Premiership as I think that is where the club belongs. I don’t think there is a set-up in the Premiership outside maybe the top five that has got the training facilities that this club has got, the stadium this club has got or the fan base, so this club certainly belongs in the top league and my aim is to hopefully come back and win a league winner’s medal and get back into the Premiership.


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