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Liam Craig relishes being a record breaker for St Johnstone

St Johnstone v Rangers – cinch Premiership – McDiarmid Park
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Liam Craig is excited about the prospect of becoming St Johnstone’s record appearance holder at home to Dundee on Saturday.

The 34-year-old moved level with former team-mate Steven Anderson at the top of the charts when he notched his 441st outing for the Perth club over the course of his two spells in last weekend’s defeat away to Hibernian.

If Craig features this weekend, he will go out on his own as the man to have played the most games in Saints’ history.

He said: “It’ll be an incredible moment when it happens, something I’m really proud of. It’s great to play that many games in football, but to do it for one club that’s grown on me massively over the years and in such a successful period for the club makes it even more special.”

Craig first joined Saints in 2007 from Falkirk before moving to Hibs in 2013. He returned to Perth two years later and helped the club win a cup double last term.

He explained that there is something special about the vibe at the club that makes it an attractive proposition to a player.

He said: “Never mind winning trophies, I wouldn’t have envisaged being here for six years when I came back in 2015. But it’s an easy dressing room to be part of as long as you’re going to work hard.

“There’s a real togetherness here and a real good environment to play football. When you’re winning games, winning trophies like we did last year, and competing for top six most seasons, people want to come here and when they get here they realise it’s an environment they want to stay in.”

Asked about the standout moments of his record-setting stint in Perth, Craig said: “There have been loads for me. Obviously the cup double last year was incredible and something I’ll be forever proud of.

“Winning the League Cup was right up there because it was my first major trophy and at 34 I genuinely thought those days had passed me. The Scottish Cup coming three months later was just incredible.

“When I look back, one of the most important achievements was winning the First Division title in 2009 and getting back into the top league because the players that came in around that time were a real core for the seasons moving forward and were a huge part of this club’s success.”

Craig is setting no targets over how many more appearances he can accumulate.

He said: “I don’t take anything for granted. At the start of last season I signed a six-month contract so I never get too far ahead of myself.

“I’ve been lucky to play this amount of games. I’ve had conversations with the manager and he said he’ll tell me when my legs have gone, and he’s not told me yet so I’ll keep working hard and keep trying to help the team be as successful as possible as long as I’m pulling the strip on.”