Two Northern Ireland caps, a first goal of the season and a small piece of St Johnstone history – it’s been quite a fortnight for Ali McCann.
In an ideal world the midfielder’s opener at Easter Road would have been the match-winner against Hibs but at least it was part of a Perth performance that secured a point at a tough Premiership venue.
And scoring Saints’ 900th top-flight goal will be a memory to cherish.
“It’s quite cool to be honest,” said McCann, who guided the ball past Ofir Marciano in the first half on Tuesday night after good work by Stevie May.
“I saw it on Twitter before the game and saw that we could score our 900th goal and I thought it would be nice to be the one to score it! And thankfully it happened.
In search of greatness at St Johnstone
“The ball came to me in the right place at the right time and it was great to score the 900th.
“People like Cuptie (Dave Mackay), a club legend, will be remembered for achieving the milestone of 600 goals so it’s pretty cool to be alongside him and others.
“He’s someone who achieved great things for the club in the past and hopefully I can do the same.”
David Wotherspoon scored Saints’ second but both his and his team-mate’s efforts were cancelled out by Paul McGinn.
McCann added: “I thought we could have won the game actually, but to say we would get a 2-2 draw before the game we probably would have been happy.
“To go up twice is still disappointing but it’s not easy going there – they’re flying – but we matched them in every department.
“It’s good to challenge teams like that who are in the top three or four in the league – it proves we belong up there.”
McCann’s face is becoming better known outwith Perth thanks to his impressive displays in the Nations League against Austria and Romania for Northern Ireland.
And he’ll be on a few kitchen walls now that he’s made the front cover of the annual Saints charity calendar that is now available for purchase.
“It’ll be good to have it up in the house!” joked the 20-year-old. “Thankfully it’s a decent photo they’ve used – it’s not the worst one so it’s alright!
“It’s great there’s a donation being made to CHAS. Any sort of thing the club can do to help a charity in the community is brilliant.
“Especially because it’s been a tough time for everyone, particularly charities, so every little helps and it’s great to do something positive for the local community.”
In search of Hampden glory
McCann has his eyes on Hampden Park, with the Betfred Cup last-16 clash against Motherwell Saints’ next fixture at the weekend.
“Obviously it’s a huge cup game and a chance for us to get into the quarter finals,” he said.
“All fans – and the lads – love a cup run and we showed at the weekend we can match Motherwell and hopefully we can beat them and progress to the next round.
“You saw in 2014, when the team won the Scottish Cup, that the players who won that became legends. The league cup is a major trophy too and to play in the final of that would be an unreal day out.
“It all starts on Saturday and if we can progress through that then that’s a great step, and we have every chance.”
The official St. Johnstone calendar for 2021 goes on sale on Friday (November 27) from 9am through the Saints Online Shop.
It features the full first team squad, as well as manager Callum Davidson and first team coaches Steven MacLean and Alec Cleland.
The club has also decided that 5% from each calendar sold will be donated to CHAS Children’s Hospices, Saints’ official charity partners, ensuring that around £500 will go to the charity if all calendars are sold.
To purchase a calendar please go to www.saintsonlineshop.co.uk. Each calendar is £10, with a limited number of signed calendars available for £15.
A CHAS spokesperson said: “2020 has been a year that most of us can’t wait to see the back of, but here’s a reason to look forward to 2021! We are so grateful to St Johnstone for supporting CHAS by donating a percentage of the sales from their 2021 calendar.
“We know that these are difficult and unprecedented times which makes us even more grateful for their kindness and support – thank you for choosing to support children and families across Scotland who need help now, more than ever.”