Decade’s End: The highs and lows from Paisley

The last 10 years have seen the Saints win the League Cup and a championship, but what are the personal highlights for Scott Stafford over the decade just gone?

Scott Stafford

Player of the Decade

The obvious one to stand out for me is Stephen McGinn, who rejoined the club in January 2017 when we were comfortably bottom of the championship.

He was immediately made captain and his drive and commitment was infectious throughout the squad and we managed to avoid relegation that season, win the league the next and manage to stay in the premiership via playoffs.

Game of the Decade

There are two games that spring to mind. First a 5-4 victory at home to Ross County a game in which Steven Thompson scored an overhead kick.

But I have to go for beating Celtic 3-2 at Hampden in the League cup semi-final with goals from Goncalves, McGowan and Thompson and a saved penalty from Samson.

Biggest disappointment of the Decade

Tommy Craig’s disastrous reign that took us down from the premier league after a 10-year stay is a definite low-point for the club and was a reign that the club took some three years to recover from.

Best memory of the Decade

That has to be winning the 2013 League Cup and we didn’t do it the easy way either having to beat Ayr and Hamilton at home, then going to Pittodrie and winning on penalties.

We beat Celtic in the semi-final and then defeated Hearts 3-2 in the final and it was the first national cup that I’ve seen us win, which obviously makes it more special from a personal point of view.

Goal of the Decade

Despite Adam Hamill scoring two screamers last season, including one from his own half, I’d have to go for Graham Carey against Hearts.

Most underrated signing of the Decade

Christopher Dilo. A young French goalkeeper who for some inexplicable reason played second fiddle to David Cornell at first.

He only played 13 games for the club in the season he had with us but kept four clean sheets, an impressive feat for a team playing at the bottom of end of the table.

I also have to mention Aaron Mooy, a player who unfortunately only showed small glimpses of the player he has gone on to be.

Best team of the decade

Really tough choice between the 2013 League Cup-winning side and the 2017/18 championship-winning team.

To go from 3rd bottom the year before to winning the league the next was a great achievement, a side lead by Jack Ross with Morgan, Reilly, McGinn, Samson and Cammy Smith all playing prominent roles.

What are your hopes for the next 10 years and where do you think your club will be in 2030?

My hope is that we’ll be pushing towards the top-six with fan ownership and a good strong community relationship going forward, but it’s impossible to predict where we’ll be.

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