Alex Gogic explains St Mirren fans connection amid European opponents update

St Mirren defender Alex Gogic
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)

Alex Gogic says his connection with the black-and-white army helped convince him to stay at St Mirren.

The Buddies were back at Ralston on Monday for pre-season training with the focus on being ready for next month’s UEFA Conference League clash with FC Valur or FK Vllaznia Shkoder.

Gogic signed a new three-year contract in May – with a section of fans producing a special tifo display before the 1-0 Premiership defeat to Kilmarnock at the SMiSA Stadium to mark the deal.

The 30-year-old admitted he was “touched” by the gesture in his honour after two-and-a-half years with the Paisley club.

“I liked the display from the fans which was special for me even though the result didn’t go our way,” he told the Paisley Daily Express.

“What they did for me was something I would never have dreamt of. I had my kids and I looked over and thought, ‘that’s me!’

“They had the big sign which said Idemo and that means ‘let’s go’ in Serbian. As a player, to be loved and touched by so many makes my decision to stay here the right one.

“I think being happy, experience counts and working with the rest of the team and the gaffer – everything just clicked. I’ve enjoyed every moment.

“I’ve had ups and downs in my career. Before I came to Hamilton Accies, there were a couple of months when I didn’t have a club. But I’ve never given up. I would train hard by myself and knew hard work pays off.”

Playing in Europe for Saints excites Gogic after covid marred his previous foreign foray when he was with Hibernian three years ago. The Edinburgh giants saw off FC Santa Coloma but exited at the hands of HNK Rijeka.

“It’s amazing and I hope this happens every season,” the Cypriot international added. “I’ve played in Europe with Hibs but it was just after covid and so it wasn’t a full experience. We finished third the season before but, without the fans, football is not the same.”

Meanwhile, Saints' potential Euro opponents FC Valur stormed to a 5-1 win over Vestri in Iceland’s Besta deild karla on Saturday.

The Reykjavik outfit produced a second-half goal rush to swamp their hosts and their seventh league victory of the season moved Valur to within two points of leaders Vikingur in the table.

Jonatan Jonsson opened the scoring but Vestri went in level at the break through Benedikt Waren.

Valur restored their lead in the 57th minute when Patrick Pedersen struck and Tryggvi Haraldsson added a third goal seven minutes later. Lukas Heimisson made it 4-1 before Jonsson grabbed his second and Valur’s fifth.

FK Vllaznia have had their first pre-season tune-up as they lost 3-1 to Buducnost Podgorica from Montenegro with Gledjan Pusi on the scoresheet for the Albanian side.

Don't miss the latest Renfrewshire headlines – sign up to our free daily newsletter here