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11 Aug 2022

Remi Matthews admits he jumped at chance to return to Scotland with St Johnstone

Remi Matthews admits he jumped at chance to return to Scotland with St Johnstone

Remi Matthews admits he jumped at the chance to return to the cinch Premiership with St Johnstone after enjoying a previous spell in Scotland’s top flight.

The goalkeeper made his Saints debut in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat by Hibernian days after joining on loan from Crystal Palace.

The 28-year-old spent the 2016-17 season on loan at Hamilton from Norwich and made 27 appearances despite being out of the team for four months through a shoulder injury.

Matthews will continue in goal against Motherwell on Saturday at a ground where he conceded four goals to Louis Moult on a previous visit with Accies.

“I was young at the time, I was new to that sort of loan experience,” he said. “I have got a lot more experience coming into this football club.

“When I was at Hamilton I really enjoyed it and I really enjoyed playing in the Scottish league and that was a big factor in why I wanted to return.”

Matthews spent the bulk of the following season on loan at Plymouth before joining Bolton, where he made 58 appearances.

His form there earned him a move to Sunderland, where he played seven times in the 2020-21 campaign.

He spent last season at Palace without playing a first-team game and he jumped at the chance to return to the cinch Premiership.

Matthews said: “It’s been a hectic few days but it always is when you come to a new club. It was great for me because I got here on the Wednesday and played Saturday. It was a quick turnaround but sometimes that’s the best way. I felt good. I was back to playing games and I enjoyed it.

“I was nervous because it was my first competitive 90 minutes for 12 or 13 months but I enjoyed it and I felt we were unlucky not to get something out the game.

“Physically you always keep on top of things in training and I got some minutes in pre-season but it’s mentally more than anything being in a competitive game, knowing that you are actually playing on a Saturday, it means more training through the week.

“It’s completely different to what I was doing all through last season but it’s something I decided to do, I wanted to come and play games.”

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