Wallace Duffy has sights set on St Johnstone first team place

© SNSWallace Duffy in action for Celtic.
Wallace Duffy in action for Celtic.

St Johnstone yesterday completed a double signing.

Dundee goalkeeper Elliott Parish and Celtic defender Wallace Duffy have both been recruited on two-year deals.

The pair are likely to start as back-up for Zander Clark and Richard Foster respectively but will have ambitions to become first team regulars.

That’s certainly how the ex-Hoops 20-year-old views it.

“I need to get first team football because another year of playing reserves just isn’t benefiting me,” said Duffy, who was a free agent after his contract with Celtic ran down.

“I need to get out my comfort zone, get into a first team and start fighting for a place.

“We agreed that this was probably the club for me and it was a chance to give myself a platform to push on.

“I might have to bide my time at the start but I can learn from Richard Foster. Hopefully he can give me a bit of help and then I can get games under my belt.

“Richard has played at the highest level possible. He’s not just going to let me take his position, so it will be good for both of us.

“Predominantly I’m a centre-half but I’ve been put out to right back in the past couple of seasons. Tommy (Wright) said it was good that I can play both.

“Last season was probably my best chance at Celtic. I just couldn’t make the next push to really get in about the first team and stake a claim.

“The quicker I can get in the team the better for me. From day one I’m going to have to impress Tommy and see what happens.”

Perth boss Wright was keen to increase his defensive options this close-season.

“With Joe Shaughnessy, Brian Easton and Aaron Comrie having left the club we are down numbers-wise in defence,” he explained.

“Wallace is somebody we’ve been watching for several months and is a young player who can come in and add quality to the squad.

“He’s primarily a right back but can also play on the right side of the centre of defence and he’ll give Richard competition in that right-back role which is important.

“He has good physical qualities, height and athleticism and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

On Parish, who spent two years at Dens Park and made 25 appearances, Wright said: “We were looking for an experienced keeper as a back-up to Zander.

“Obviously we have young keepers Ross Sinclair and Jack Wills but we aim to try and put Ross out on loan again for further experience.

“So we needed an experienced keeper who will help the youngsters in training and put pressure on Zander.

“Elliott fits the bill – he knows the league, lives quite close by and is a good talker. I have total faith in him doing the job.”

Saints return to training at the start of next week and Wright is hoping to make more signings.

“Generally, we are ticking along nicely,” he said.

“I know the summer can be frustrating for fans but remember that we already have a strong squad.

“We have strength in midfield and wide and we are actively looking for a striker and maybe a defender.”

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