St Johnstone may not be the best supported club in the Ladbrokes Premiership but Saints captain Dave Mackay has hailed the loyal fans that do show up week-in, week-out.
The 35-year-old ranks the club’s Scottish Cup win in 2014 among his career highlights and was happy to give something back to the community.
Here he tells us why he loves St Johnstone…
Why do you love St Johnstone?
They’ve been very good me and looked after me well. It’s a really great family club. I know those terms are overused at times but it really is.
You get to know a lot of the supporters as well from functions and stuff like that so you feel as if you know everybody. It’s not just about the team and the manager, everybody really pulls together to create a big community and a family-focused club.
Describe the fans and what they mean to the club
The fans have been great. People go on about us not having the biggest support but the support we do have is extremely loyal. We get around 3,500 fans for home games and about 50 per cent of that for away games, so they are great fans.
You’d like to have more fans at home obviously but it is what is and they make themselves heard.
The best way I’ve connected with the fans was when we won the Scottish Cup and there were about 30,000 people to greet us in Perth. We were expecting one or two thousand so to see that many people and what it meant to them was incredible.
What’s the vibe like in the dressing room?
Before a game we’ll have the music blaring for about an hour and then the manager will come in speak and then there are one or two players who have a few words too.
We’re not too rowdy though. Sometimes you can have people shouting too much and I remember when I was younger I’d not listen, so that can have the opposite effect.
It works for us if the lads have their own time and get focused and when it’s time to go out we know our jobs and try to carry them out as best we can.
Can you name a St Johnstone Backroom Hero?
That’s an easy one for St Johnstone. Tommy Campbell the kit man just left in the summer after a number of years and he was great.
But Paul Smith is another. He does everything and you never see him moaning. If anyone’s got a problem he sorts it and pretty much runs the club. It’s not his role but he just does it on an everyday basis and everyone lands all their work on him so he’s definitely an unsung hero.
What do you love most about being a St Johnstone footballer?
Just doing something that you love. You’re able to keep yourself fit and do something you always dreamed of as a child.
Whether you get paid for it or not I always wanted to do that from when I was playing in the street as a child to now. And to have the chance to do that as a profession is not to be taken for granted. It won’t last forever and will all end soon so it’s important to enjoy it while I can.