New contracts for three Saints youngsters

Yesterday the club confirmed the news that three players had agreed new contracts to remain at McDiarmid Park next season.

Strikers Callum Hendry and Greg Hurst, and midfielder Ali McCann all signed new deals which will keep them at Saints for the 2018/19 campaign.

Saints boss Tommy Wright was delighted to have tied up deals for all three and has high hopes for the youngsters and expects their development to continue at the club next season.

“We’re delighted to have all three lads remaining at the club next year,” Tommy said.

“We let a few young lads go and as a manager you never have any satisfaction in telling players they’re not getting contracts. On the flip side, when you do get to tell players they’re being kept on it’s a nice feeling seeing how much it means to them – especially the young ones.

“All three of them have big futures ahead of them and are all at very different stages of their career development.

“Greg Hurst has had a taste of first-team experience through some loan spells but he’ll be the first to admit that he has to find a bit more consistency with his performances if he’s going to hold down a place in the first-team squad.

“He’s a player who has got a lot of potential and ability but we need to see him apply that across a full 90 minute period more often. It’s going to be a big year for him.

“Callum Hendry’s year has been plagued by unfortunate injuries. And now that he’s recovered from that and would’ve been in contention to play this weekend, he’s gone and picked up food poisoning!

“It’s been a difficult year for Callum but he’s a player I really like. He’s someone I think will improve a lot next year. He’s got an eye for a goal, has good strength and makes intelligent runs in behind.

“He’s still got a lot to learn about the game but we’re confident he can develop into a top-class striker.

“As for Ali McCann, he has forced his way into the first-team squad since the turn of the year and he’s a versatile midfielder who could really progress into a big player for the club.

“He’s got great energy, he’s a good passer of the ball with both feet and he can change up play. I see a big future for him and we hope to get him involved with some first-team game time before the end of the season.”

Speaking today after committing his future to the club, 21-year-old striker Greg Hurst said: “I was delighted to have been offered the chance to stay here and I was relieved when the manager told me I’d done enough to earn a new contract.

“It’s been a difficult season for me with my loan spells which didn’t really work out how I’d have liked. They both started out well but my game time was limited towards the end.

“I think the main positive is I’ve now got first-team experience under my belt and I’ve also got the experience of going from a regular to having to make an impression off the bench, It’s been character building for me and I think it’ll stand me in good stead moving forward.

“At my age now I want to try and kick on and make myself a contender to be involved in the first-team squad. It’s going to be a big year for me and I’ll be coming back for pre-season fitter than ever and raring to get going.”

19-year-old midfielder Ali McCann was also delighted to be remaining at Saints for at least another season.

“It’s great to be staying here for another year at least,” Ali said, “to have my future secured means I can focus on improving my game.

“I was always confident I’d done enough to earn a new deal but it’s always nice to have that reassurance and have the contract confirmed.

“I’ve enjoyed being in and around the first-team squad this season and hopefully I can stay there and if I get time on the pitch I’m looking to make an impression and do everything I can to stay in the side.”