The good times keep rolling for David Wotherspoon.
Now a three-time cup winner with St Johnstone, the Perth legend’s momentous season is still ticking over nicely after he played his part in a couple of wins for Canada that have kept his adopted nation on track for World Cup qualification.
The ‘Spoony chop’ that deceived Alex Gogic so memorably, leading to Shaun Rooney’s double-clinching goal to defeat Hibs at Hampden, may yet be seen on the biggest football stage of them all.
Three things certain in life:
Death, taxes and falling for the David Wotherspoon chop#SJFC
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) May 23, 2021
By beating Aruba and Suriname, Canada topped their Concacaf group and advanced to the next stage of their road to Qatar – which will be a home and away clash with Haiti on Saturday and Tuesday.
Win that tie and they’ll be in the final stage of the process for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
“I always want to be able to represent Canada and pull on the red shirt,” said Wotherspoon. “That means a lot to me.
“Playing with all of these special players out here is a great thing to be part of right now and it’s very exciting for the country.
“I was delighted to start against Aruba and help push forward in our mission to get to the World Cup.
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) June 6, 2021
“I know I’m part of the team and I am providing for them. Everything we work on, we’re in it together.
“We’re certainly in the zone right now. We want to continue the run.”
Wotherspoon, who is the only Saints player to have started and won three finals, has yet to get a proper grip on the enormity of the domestic double that made headlines across the football world.
“I still don’t think it has fully sunk in what we have achieved,” he said.
“The more you look back on it, the more you realise how great the success was and how much it will continue to be in the future.
“I came into the Canada camp and everyone congratulated me on what Saints had done. They all recognised it and were delighted.
“It’s refreshing to come away from Scotland and realise that people are taking notice of St Johnstone.”
Late start in Europe is a boost
Wotherspoon has more experience than anybody in the Saints squad of European football but an August start is new to him – and welcome given his season will last the longest of all the players.
“It’s a good thing that the games will be a little later,” said the former Scotland under-21 international.
“Previously it was difficult to get much game-time in before playing and we were also having to come back in for pre-season earlier.
“The boys will get that wee bit of extra rest and recovery after celebrating our season. We’ll look forward to the build-up.
“It’s obviously going to be a very hard tie whoever it is. These are teams who have been playing in the Champions League.
When UK teams find out first European opponents in qualifying:
🏴 Bala Town, Newtown, TNS (UECL 1QR)
🇬🇧 Coleraine, Glentoran, Larne (UECL 1QR, no NI flag)
🏴 Aberdeen, Hibernian (UECL 2QR)
🏴 St Johnstone (UEL 3QR)
🏴 Tottenham (UECL 4QR)
— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) June 9, 2021
“I never thought that would happen for us but, after such a successful season, we need to look to prove that we are a great team.
“We’ll be excited whoever we get and want success in Europe.
“If we can get fans back for the European games, that would be tremendous. We’ve missed them being there and celebrating with us.
“I’m sure everyone will be itching to get back to watching football.”
He added: “I should be back on Thursday of next week, all going well. I’ll be off for a week and a half and will get a bit of quiet time before everything starts again.
“I had my one celebration night after the Scottish Cup and then it was straight back to work. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I won’t have much time off but a career doesn’t last that long.
“I’ll push as much as I can to help keep the team moving forward.”