St Johnstone new boy Stefan Scougall said the lure of Europa League football was one of the main reasons he opted to sign for the club.
Saints snapped up the 24-year-old former Livingston midfield player following his release from Sheffield United and he is set to be in the Perth side’s squad for tonight’s Europa League first qualifying round first-leg match at home to Lithuanians FK Trakai, kick-off 7.45pm.
He said: “This will be a new experience for me because, not only am I playing in the Premiership, but I’ve got European football, something I’m not used to.
“They’re both new challenges for me but it’s something I’m looking forward to and I’m excited about tonight.
“I can’t wait and playing in the Europa League was a big factor in me coming here. It was something that drew me to completing the move. Now I just want to get started.”
Meanwhile, Saints team boss Tommy Wright knows the Lithuanian league is not as strong as the Scottish Premiership but he is aware Trakai come to McDiarmid Park on the back of some good form.
Sitting second in Lithuania’s top league, Trakai have not lost in their last five games, keeping a clean sheet in each encounter.
Tommy commented: “They will be confident coming here because they have some good results behind them.
“It’s tough at this level, so the criticism of Scottish teams when they’ve gone out has been over the top.
“I can understand the disappointment because we all want Scottish football to be strong and have teams staying in European competition as long as possible.
“In the past few years, the Premiership has got stronger and the teams have become better.
“There is a real buzz about the game up here just now and, hopefully, we can add to that by getting a good result.
“There are no easy games in Europe as all the teams are well organised. It’s no easy task to progress but we have done our homework on Trakai and are looking to get through.”
Brian Easton was an injury doubt for the game but looks set to take his place at left-back with Steven Anderson, out for a month due to injury, set to be replaced in the heart of the defence by Liam Gordon, Ally Gilchrist or Jason Kerr.