BEECHWOOD Park is about to get a touch of the Caribbean as experienced Trinidad and Tobago striker Collin Samuel has signed with Sauchie Juniors for the season.
Samuel brings years of experience to Sauchie including spells at Falkirk, Dundee United and St Johnstone in Scotland as well as a run in MLS with Toronto FC.
The one-time World Cup player put pen to paper late on Monday evening and manager Fraser Duncan was thrilled to secure his signature, saying it was a huge signing for Sauchie and one that he hopes will get the fans back through the doors.
Fraser said, “We’re obviously delighted to bring a talent like Sammy to the club. I think he will only improve as he gets fitter and we get more service to him. He is a fantastic talent and it’s a major signing for the club.
“It’s a massive well done to our chairman Noel Dalli who has managed to pull off the deal. The management team can only thank the club chairman for backing them and bringing Collin in.
“Hopefully it will bring in a few more supporters and it signals intentions that the club want to try and do what it can to compete in this Super League and Sammy is only a part of that.”
Samuel is hoping to use his vast experience for the good of the club as he looks to improve his fitness levels.
He said, “Whenever you’ve got the opportunity to play you’ve just got to play.
“The facilities at the club are pretty good.
“I’m just trying to get my fitness up as much as possible and take it from there.
“I hope my experience can help the guys here.”
The 32-year-old striker played two games for the club on trial, a 2-1 victory over St Andrews United and last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Linlithgow Rose.
That loss to Linlithgow was bitterly disappointing for many at the club as Sauchie started the game well on top, but Colin believes the squad can take confidence from their early performance despite the eventual result.
He continued, “It was difficult. We played well first half but it didn’t really come off for us, we hit the post twice.
“Second half we didn’t really start to play from the start, and that had us on the back foot for a while and we never really got playing.
“What we need to do is take confidence from how we performed in the first half. We needed to bring that into the second half but it just didn’t happen for us. We need to learn from that.”
There’s a big change from the 2006 World Cup to the 2013/14 East Region Super League for Collin and he admits he is having to come to terms with the different style of junior football.
He said, “Junior football is a bit different. I’m struggling to learn with the type of tackles coming in, the referee might take a while to make a decision and it’s a lot different because from my experience a referee will try and protect the player as much as possible from any aspect on the pitch.”
Meanwhile Collin will be joined in the Sauchie squad by U21 midfielder Craig Martin.
Martin will play with the full squad for the next few weeks after a series of very impressive performances for the new U21 side, including a hat-trick in the recent 13-1 drubbing over Fife.
Fraser is delighted to bring Craig in to the setup and believes the move shows what Sauchie are trying to do.
The gaffer said, “We are happy to announce that Craig Martin will be stepping up from the U21s side for the next few weeks.
“Craig has been excellent for the U21s and the management team feel that he is ready to play for the junior side.
“This shows how we mix the team up with youth and experience.”