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Joe Gormley eager to don his shooting boots again with St Johnstone

By Adam McKendry

Joe Gormley has said he can't wait to get back into competitive action after securing a short-term move to Scottish Premiership side St Johnstone on transfer deadline day.

The 26-year-old has been sent out on loan by English League One outfit Peterborough United in an attempt to prove his fitness to manager Grant McCann.

Gormley signed for Posh last summer from Cliftonville but suffered a serious knee injury shortly after arriving, ruling him out of his first season at London Road.

The striker completed a full pre-season with Peterborough, but will spend the first four months of the season in Scotland as he bids to recapture the form that saw him land the initial move across the water.

Gormley said that he's eager to get onto the pitch and show everybody what they've been missing.

"It's been the toughest year of my life," he admitted. "I was so low after the surgery a year ago, but I've worked hard to get to where I am now and everything is positive.

"Hopefully I can repay the manager for showing faith in me by scoring goals for St. Johnstone.

"After being out for so long it's all about getting the head down, working hard and seeing where it takes me.

"I have more drive than ever after being out for so long. Family and friends back home have supported me and I want to repay them and Peterborough."

The Belfast man, who twice broke Cliftonville's goals-per-season record during a trophy-laden four-year spell at Solitude, will link up with another Northern Irishman at McDiarmid Park in manager Tommy Wright.

Former Lisburn Distillery and Ballymena United boss Wright admitted that he is a great admirer of Gormley and that the Saints were also interested in signing him when he was with the Reds.

However, Gormley himself does not expect to be shown any favouritism by his new manager, despite Wright acknowledging the striker's abilities.

"It's good that he comes from Northern Ireland, but that won't get me in the team," Gormley said.

"That's down to me. But I know that I can play at that level."

One of the interesting sub-plots will be when St. Johnstone take on Ross County. where there is potential for Gormley to come up against his fellow countryman and former Cliftonville strike partner Liam Boyce.

"I'm really good friends with Liam and he's already talked about us playing against each other!" Gormley laughs.

"He's been doing really well in Scotland and it would be great to follow in his footsteps.

"He probably claims he got me my move!"

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