Kyle McClean speaking on first day of pre season

Sunday 11th June

St. Johnstone returned from their summer break to begin the first day of pre-season this morning - only three weeks after the last match of the 2016/17 campaign - as the team prepares for the Europa League qualifiers which get underway on the 29th June.

Today involved fitness testing and a few exercises to ease the players back into a routine before next week's training camp in Largs.

Joe Shaughnessy spoke to the club Youtube channel on the first day back:

The Saints website also spoke to new arrival Kyle McClean about what the day entailed and what his hopes are for the upcoming season.

“Yeah today’s been tough! But it’s been good meeting all the lads and getting to know everyone. I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks to show what I can do in training and to settle in.

“Today has just been a lot of testing and a couple of running exercises to see where everyone’s at. It seems like a very friendly and welcoming club, the lads have all been really nice.”

The 18-year-old was on trial at McDiarmid Park towards the end of last season and did enough to earn himself a contract in Perth following his release this summer from Nottingham Forest.

“I’d been on trial at a couple of other clubs but St. Johnstone just seemed right. When I was on trial here I was made to feel very, very welcome by Tommy and all his staff so I really enjoyed it when I was up here and I was delighted to be offered a contract at the club.

“I enjoyed my time at Nottingham Forest, I was there for two or three years. I played in the reserves a lot this season and felt I did well.”

Kyle is also a Northern Ireland U21 international and was involved in a win in Tallin last week.

“Yeah I went away last week. We played Estonia in the first qualifier and won 2-1 so that was a great experience to be away. I’ve been involved quite a lot with the international set up, I’ve played right up from the 15s to the 21s now.”

Focussed now on the season ahead at St. Johnstone, McClean has set himself a target of making it into Tommy Wright’s first team.

“My target this season is to break into the team, do as well as I can for the team and see where that takes us in the league and in the cups.

“That’s the aim. Hopefully, fingers crossed I can break into the first team as quickly as I can to show everyone what I can do.

“I’m a midfielder who likes to get on the ball and get the team playing. I think I’m tough in the tackle and I’m just looking forward to seeing what I can do out on the pitch for St. Johnstone.”