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BACK PAGE BULLETIN: EX-CELT RETURNS, WELL BOSS’ HOPES FOR WATT AND TURNBULL, MILLER CONFIRMS SWITCH

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FORMER Celtic and one-time Scotland star Ross Wallace has agreed a deal with St Mirren until the end of the season.

The versatile 34-year-old performer played for the Hoops for four years between 2002 and 2006 after making his debut as a 17-year-old forward.

Paisley boss Jim Goodwin, speaking to StMirren.com, said: “Ross is a fantastic, experienced player who has played at a high level.

“Just having someone with his experience around is great and also the fact he can play in midfield and at left-back.

“People will be used to him playing in more advanced areas, but he actually played a lot at League One in England with Fleetwood Town last year in the middle of the pitch. He’s a very calming influence in there, keeps things nice and simple and reads the game well. He’s still got bags of quality, as well.

“That experience he will bring is invaluable. I do like to have experienced players around the squad and to have somebody like Ross who has played at a high level can only be a benefit.”

Wallace earned an international cap in 2009 when he was playing for Preston North End.

After leaving Parkhead, he joined Championship side Sunderland before taking in spells at Deepdale, Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley during a 13-year spell down south.

He played in the Premier League with Burnley for one season in 2014/15.

MOTHERWELL boss Stephen Robinson has challenged ex-Celtic striker Tony Watt to win a long-term contract.

The 26-year-old frontman, who has played for 12 clubs, arrived at Fir Park as a free agent last month following his exit from Bulgarian outfit CSKA Sofia.

The Well gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, admitted: “He turned down a heck of a lot more money than we’re paying to come here and that’s credit to him.

“He’s a local boy, he likes what he’s doing, I’m honest with him and I tell him the truth and he wants that. There’s no doubting his talent. If we can improve him and get him fitter it can be home.

“It’s a short-term deal to keep him motivated, but I’m hoping it can turn into something more long-term.”

Robinson, though, was reluctant to put a time on David Turnbull’s comeback following his summer knee operation, but hinted the 20-year-old midfielder is not too far away from a return.

The Fir Park chief applauded Turnbull’s mental outlook after a big-money move to Celtic had to be cancelled in the close season.

He added: “Someone described it as having a winning lottery ticket and losing it. But the way he’s conducted himself has been fantastic. He’s never felt sorry for himself and his enthusiasm is still there.

“We’ve got a very good player in a few weeks or months. We’re holding him back for his own good and we won’t take any chances with him.

“He’s not ready for first-team action, but it’s a fine sight to see – his quality oozes out of him and it excites me.

“How long till we see him? I don’t know. I’m not putting timescales on him because I don’t want him to be disappointed.

“He’s exactly where we thought he’d be, we have been a little bit cautious and rightly so.”

FORMER Rangers, Celtic and Scotland international striker Kenny Miller, who announced his retirement from playing at the age of 40, has joined joined Newcastle Jets as technical director, as Scotzine forecast last week.

The veteran hitman, who will also double up as assistant coach, called time on his playing career last week after leaving Partick Thistle in January.

Miller has now linked up with former Wolves team-mate Carl Robinson, who is the manager of the A League club.

Speaking to the Daily Record, the much-travelled forward said: “Carl and I have been close for 20 years, I’ve worked with him when he was a player and when he was a manager.

“When the opportunity came up for me to join him and continue my development as a coach, I was keen to take it with both hands.

“Carl sees success in the near future at this club and I want to do all I can to help make that happen.”

 

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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