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

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

By Press Association Published: 5 August 2022 - 2.53pm

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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