No-brainer for Clark­son to fol­low heart

Striker in­sists re­turn to Mother­well was easy – even af­ter be­ing snubbed by Fir Park side last sum­mer

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - LIND­SAY HER­RON

DAVID CLARK­SON has in­sisted he had no hes­i­ta­tion in be­com­ing the latest for­mer Mother­well player to re­turn to Fir Park de­spite hav­ing been re­jected by the club a year ago.

Clark­son spent seven sea­sons with Mother­well be­fore mov­ing to Bristol City in 2009 and then Bristol Rovers three years later. How­ever, he was not of­fered a deal last sum­mer by Stu­art McCall, hav­ing spent the en­tire pre-sea­son with his old club, and even­tu­ally signed for Dundee.

Now the 29-year-old is back at his spir­i­tual home un­der Ian Bar­a­clough fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Keith Lasley, Ste­vie Ham­mell and Stephen Pear­son, all of whom left and came back. It is a com­mon oc­cur­rence as James McFad­den, John Sut­ton and Hen­rik Oja­maa have also had two spells at the club.

Clark­son said: “If you en­joy a club then it’s easy to come back. If you ask for­mer play­ers like my­self, Hammy and Las, we had great times here and there are a lot of great peo­ple at the club.

“There are folk who have been here for years and there is a good feel­ing around the place. It makes it a lot eas­ier to say yes when they of­fer the chance to come back. It’s a place you en­joy and you know you can fit in pretty quickly.

“There are a lot of new play­ers but there’s still the same at­mos­phere. That never changes. There are staff be­hind the scenes and I’ve got friends here that were here 10 years ago. It’s a club that is close to my heart hav­ing been here a num­ber of years.”

Clark­son, nephew of the late Phil O’Don­nell, ad­mit­ted it was a ma­jor blow when McCall opted not to sign him last sea­son. How­ever, he has com­pletely bought into Bar­a­clough’s phi­los­o­phy and hopes to help the La­nark­shire out­fit get back to a more sta­ble po­si­tion af­ter land­ing in the Premier­ship play-off last sea­son.

He said: “If you go in some­where, you are hop­ing to get a con­tract. But from the start, the gaffer said to me they were look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent. So it was never a case of me know­ing I was go­ing to get some­thing.

“It was about me try­ing to prove my­self – and hav­ing that against me that I wasn’t the type of player he was look­ing for. Hope­fully, this year will be a lot dif­fer­ent. I spoke to Ian Bar­a­clough – and Stephen Robin­son [Fir Park as­sis­tant man­ager] – the day be­fore I signed and was im­pressed by his at­ti­tude and ap­proach to things.

“It was a bit of an up-and-down sea­son last year but they man­aged to stay in the league through the play-off. They want to im­prove things next sea­son and get the club go­ing for­ward. I was im­pressed with how he wants to play and go about things. That drive to go for­ward and put right what went wrong dur­ing last sea­son was a big part in my de­ci­sion to come here. I want to be part of it.”

Clark­son made an as­ton­ish­ing start to his Dundee ca­reer last sea­son by scor­ing in each of his first eight matches – where­upon he em­barked on a scor­ing drought last­ing un­til April.

How­ever, he feels he can make an im­pact at Fir Park as Mother­well look to build on a strong fin­ish to the sea­son. He said: “I started well and the scor­ing run I went on was fan­tas­tic. But then we all kind of strug­gled around Christ­mas-time and I don’t think we won a game around then.

“When the team strug­gles to cre­ate chances, it is hard to score. There was a bit of ev­ery­thing in it. I never scored but you go through spells like that in football. The side fin­ished the sea­son well last year, so we need to start the way we fin­ished.”

Mother­well, who also signed striker Wes Fletcher last week, have sealed a new two-year deal for winger Marvin John­son, who joined last Jan­uary from Kid­der­min­ster Har­ri­ers.

John­son said: “I have thor­oughly en­joyed my first six months at the club and when I was asked to ex­tend it fur­ther, I had no hes­i­ta­tions.

“I re­ally be­lieve in the man­ager and what he wants the team to do, and if we can kick off the new cam­paign the way we fin­ished the last, I am hope­ful we can en­joy a good sea­son.”

Pic­ture: SNS

BET­TER LATE THAN NEVER: David Clark­son was re­jected by Mother­well last sum­mer but per­se­vered.

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