Tommy Wright happy to have given youth a chance at St Johnstone

© SNSZander Clark and Jason Kerr.
Zander Clark and Jason Kerr.

Tommy Wright has dismissed the theory that he isn’t bothered about getting young players into his St Johnstone first team as a myth.

And a roll call of talented youngsters who have emerged at McDiarmid Park in recent years supports his case.

“It was always said about me that I don’t bring young players through,” said Wright.

“The stats don’t back that up.

“Look at Zander Clark, Jason Kerr, Liam Gordon, Aaron Comrie, Kyle McClean and Ali McCann who have all played for the first team.

“Then there’s Chris Kane, Callum Hendry and others.

“It’s difficult to get players to come right through your academy. The only one here has been Stevie May. But that’s the same at most clubs.

“All of the players mentioned have come through our youth system or come to the academy at 15 or 16. Or they’ve been picked up when they’ve been released by bigger clubs – McClean, Gordon and Hendry – and we’ve developed them.

“The loan system has helped that.

“Seeing these lads become first team players has been one of the most satisfying parts of my job.”

Wright is excited to see how Gordon and Kerr progress as a central defensive partnership in the season ahead after being paired together for the last few fixtures of last season.

“To have two centre-backs playing together under 23 in the Premiership is brilliant,” he said.

“People forget about Scott Tanser as well. He couldn’t get a club and has developed over the last two seasons into a top, top player. He’s young too.

“The future is looking really good but we’ll never be complacent.”