Callum Davidson: The only Saints manager who can make Judy Murray cry

Callum Davidson
Meet the new boss – but how will he compare to the old boss?

A schoolboy tennis champion whose success made Judy Murray cry. A teenage golf international who plays off plus one. A Scottish football international with many caps and a career that took him to the top level of English football.

Three local sporting success stories – Andy Murray, Bradley Neil and Ray Stewart perhaps? Three local(ish) lads who maded good in the sporting arena.

But no – these three descriptions fit just one Perthshire sporting polymath – and he’s our new boss.

Callum Davidson’s impact during his first spell was so exceptional that after just 43 first team games English Premiership sided Blackburn Rovers bought him for £1.75m – a club record sale for Saints that stands to this day.

Two years later Leicester City added a further £1 million to his value – going on to make over 100 appearances for the Foxes – before a move to the north west where Davidson made 166 appearances for Preston North End.

Davidson was a mainstay of the Scotland national side in the late 90s and early 2000s, amassing 19 caps.

His playing career ended back at St Johnstone – with a further two years on the park before taking up a coaching role at the start of Tommy Wright’s tenure in charge.

A fresh faced Callum Davidson at Blackburn Rovers

Quite a pedigree – and given his coaching experience at Saints, Scotland, Stoke City and Millwall – where he leaves with the support and ringing endorsement of boss Gary Rowett – could there possibly have been a better candidate for the job?

Surely not.

With a backroom team of Alec Cleland and – according to this week’s reports – Steven Maclean there is a great blend of continuity and experience with Cleland, inspiration and …ahem… motivation from Maclean and top-level prowess, contacts and coaching skills from Davidson.

With a good squad already in place – and in form when the last campaign was cut short – Saints are surely now stood in good stead for when the action finally restarts.

Nothing is certain in football. And I hope this optimistic note doesn’t come back to haunt me.

But the combination of Saints’ young, promising and exciting squad, the background and experience of the management team – and frankly, the idea of seeing Steven Maclean berating official from the touchline – feels like a mix that should make us strong contenders when football restarts.

In these uncertain times having a good squad already locked in will be critical. We can’t know how Callum Davidson will pan out as a manager – but he has the structure there alongside him to give him a bit of breathing space to make a few mistakes along the way.

It also helps that he’s an exceptionally popular character – both at McDiarmid Park and, by the sounds of it, more widely in UK football circles.

He’ll undoubtedly have the full support of everyone at Saints – players, staff and fans alike – and we can only wish him the best of luck and pledge our full support when football returns.

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