New St Mirren signing Sam Foley says he was convinced to make his Buddies switch after receiving a list of glowing references hailing Jim Goodwin and Scottish football.
The well-travelled 32-year-old has never ventured north of the border before so turned to a number of close friends in the game for advice.
And the midfielder – whose arrival in Paisley has been followed by the capture of Hull defender Sean McLoughlin on a six-month loan – says his mind was made up when the reports on new boss Goodwin and the game in Scotland all came back overwhelmingly positive.
The former Newport, Yeovil, Port Vale and Northampton player said: “The move came about after I got a phone call from the manager and we had a great chat. He sold me the dream I suppose.
“He spoke very highly of the club and of Scottish football. We hit it off and everything he said really struck a chord with me.
“I’d not really thought about coming up here before but I spoke to a few lads who had been up here and the decision was easy in the end after that.
“I spoke to Ash Taylor at Aberdeen and Gary Warren, who used to be at Inverness and is a close mate. He couldn’t speak highly enough of the game up here. His word was good enough for me.
“I also spoke to David Buchanan, who played with the manager here at Hamilton. He’s another good friend of mine and told me that he was a hard working player and that reflects what he’s like as a person.
“The references I was getting were from people I trust. I spoke to these lads after I’d already spoken to Jim and had an idea of what he was like – but what I heard back just made my mind up.”
Foley is one of three signings to check into the Simple Digital Arena this week after a frustrating month where Goodwin struggled to bolster his paper-thin squad.
Turkish winger Ilkay Durmus has also arrived along with McLoughlin and all three will now go into the squad for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership opener with Hibernian at Easter Road.
But while the Paisley faithful have been left fretting after seeing their Betfred Cup campaign crumble at the group stage, Foley insists there has been no sense of panic since walking into his new dressing room.
“As long as we’ve got 11 we’ll be all right,” joked the Englishman. “Yeah we’re low on numbers for the time being but the manager has got targets he wants to bring in.
“He’s got new ideas for the club and hasn’t been back here himself for long, so the situation is understandable.
“There’s a great bunch in the dressing room and everyone is on board with what the manager wants to do so everything seems quite positive.
“There is no concern in the dressing room. The season hasn’t even started yet.”