Liam Gordon has set his sights on attracting a new generation of St Johnstone fans by helping the club to even more success.
The boyhood Saints fan was thrilled to play in front of his first McDiarmid Park full house in last week’s Europa League clash against Galatasaray and wants to tempt the supporters back next week with a good result in Austria on Thursday.
The double cup winners are looking to secure group stage football when they take on LASK in the Europa Conference League play-offs.
Perth-born defender Gordon said: “It was amazing to see McDiarmid Park full, the place was absolutely rocking. It was lovely to see and it felt like it brought the city together.
“There were people there who probably weren’t St Johnstone fans but they loved it and I think they embraced the relationship that the fans, players and staff have.
“What we have done in the last year has been brilliant and if that can get a few more punters through the door, then superb. I don’t see why not, we are playing good football and we have been getting good results.
“Everyone who came last Thursday was saying what a great time they had and there is no reason why that can’t be more often.
“There were guys I saw in the crowd that I knew weren’t St Johnstone.
“One of my good friends, he’s not a St Johnstone fan but his wee lad wanted to come down to the game. His dad is a Celtic fan but his wee boy said, ‘I want to go to McDiarmid, I want to go and see Saints’.
“That’s a nice thing for me to hear, maybe because of what we are doing, for him to want to come down to McDiarmid. And he has told his dad he wants to go back this round and not go to Parkhead.
“That’s one example, but who knows how many there might be? Hopefully this is the start of a new generation of St Johnstone fans coming through off the back of the success we have had recently.”
Saints enhanced their reputation despite going out of the Europa League after matching Galatasaray until midway through the second half of the second leg.
Gordon will take confidence from their performances into Thursday’s play-off first leg.
“Not just for me as a fan, but for all the players, getting the chance to play against Galatasaray in a competitive European game was a surreal moment,” the 25-year-old said.
“We kind of went into the first leg thinking we know what’s at stake and we want to put a good account of ourselves but let’s go and enjoy it.
“And then you step on the pitch and you remember, ‘You know what, we back ourselves’. And then you come away from Istanbul 1-1 and it completely changes. Yeah, we should enjoy it because we deserve it, but let’s go and get a result.
“You start to think, we are here on merit, we are not here because we won a raffle or a lucky dip, we are here because we deserve to be.
“I feel that has changed a lot at St Johnstone over the last year. Even in the league, we are going away to the bigger clubs now saying there is no reason why we can’t win – we won two national trophies for a reason. We have that confidence about ourselves.
“At the same time we are very humble and we know what we are up against, they are a very good side, but there is no reason why we can’t go over there and get a positive result.”