When Thomas Courts describes Benjamin Siegrist as “colossal” you get the feeling the Dundee United boss doesn’t just mean on the pitch.
For all Courts was delighted to have his No 1 back between the sticks for Friday’s 1-0 Premier Sports Cup win over Kelty Hearts, it’s keeping the goalie at the club beyond the summer window that appears most important to the Tangerines head coach.
Siegrist, who has a year to run on his deal at Tannadice, has been linked with clubs north and south of the border in recent times but nothing seems to have moved beyond speculation yet.
Courts isn’t aware of any active bids for the Swiss stopper and is simply pleased to see the 29-year-old on board with what he’s trying to achieve with the Terrors.
‘He’s an experienced player and a winner as well’
“It was brilliant to see Benji back playing for Dundee United, first and foremost,” Courts said, speaking after the Group B clash at Kelty.
“I think Benji’s biggest contribution to the team is when there’s any sort of remote danger he just averts it so quickly with his decision-making and class.
“It was great to see him back on the pitch.
“He was hugely important last season.
“He’s colossal on the pitch and a part of the leadership group here. He’s an experienced player and a winner as well.
“Naturally, for us, you feel his presence out there on the pitch in those challenging moments.”
As for Siegrist’s future at United, Courts added: “I’m not entirely sure. I’ve not heard of anything imminent.
“Benji’s training fantastically well just now, engaging in what it is we’re trying to do and I’m not aware of anything that’s active just now.”
Carson capture was important
Beyond his No 1, Courts is happy to have even more experience and quality in his goalkeeping ranks after the capture of Trevor Carson.
The former Motherwell keeper – who is also a Northern Ireland international – joined United on a two-year deal last week, much to the delight of the Tannadice gaffer.
Courts is targeting more seasoned acquisitions but is also happy to be giving kids a chance for now.
He continued: “Bringing in Trevor Carson, that’s what we need to do at this club, have positive competition for all positions.
“We want to strengthen the goalkeeping department, all areas of the pitch, but we also want to give opportunities to young players in the meantime.
“That’s what we were able to do on Friday night.”
Fans bring ‘presence’
Friday night saw 500 fans attend New Central Park, with a large percentage of the crowd Arabs that descended on Fife.
There’ll be the same number, but all home fans, at Tannadice on Wednesday night for the visit of Elgin.
After over 16 months away, a return to their seats will be a special moment for the United support.
Courts enjoyed their presence at Kelty, showing his appreciation at the end of the game, after a frustrating period without supporters.
“It was amazing,” he commented
“At the end, it was just nice to actually show a little bit of appreciation towards them because I know they’ve been very patient.
“They’ve been supporting the team from afar, probably been quite frustrated at having to do that.
“It’s just great to actually feel their presence again.”