Mar 5 2008 Paisley Daily Express
PDE SPORT SPLASH
ST MIRREN gaffer Gus MacPherson last night revealed he signed Saints’ new star Andy Dorman on the recommendation of former Scotland international Mo Johnston.
Dorman arrived at Love Street from MLS side New England Revolution and has already firmly established himself as a fans favourite with the Buddies.
The 25-year-old endeared himself to his new supporters by bagging the goal that sent Saints into the Scottish Cup quarter-finals a fortnight ago.
And he was the hero again at Tannadice on Wednesday night when he rescued a point for the Buddies with an 88th-minute leveller in the 1-1 draw with the Arabs.
MacPherson admitted he took a huge gamble on the midfielder, who’s signed a deal that will keep him in Paisley until at least the summer of 2009 with the option of a further year.
The boss never got the chance to assess Dorman in person but he was impressed with what he saw on video and immediately contacted Toronto FC chief Johnston to get his thoughts on the player.
However, MacPherson believes even the controversial former Celtic and Rangers striker underestimated the impact Dorman would have in the SPL.
The Love Street chief said: “The player was recommended to us by an agent which happens all the time.
“But we watched bits and pieces of him on video and DVD and liked what we saw and then we started doing our homework
“One of the first people I phoned was Mo Johnston and I also got in touch with another contact in America and both reports were positive.
“Mo’s report said he was a good player but not a great player but I told him we can’t afford great players here.
“But he has been very, very good since he came in.
“I think maybe Mo was concerned about recommending him to us in case he wasn’t good enough for the SPLbut it’s been a while since he’s played here.”
MacPherson admits it’s almost unprecedented for him to sign a player that he’s not seen in the flesh but it’s a punt that’s already paying dividends.
He added: “It’s very unusual. I’ve maybe done it with one or two others but you can’t really afford to do that with the position this club is in. “It was a gamble but any signing you make is a gamble and you’ve just got to listen to people you respect and sometimes you’ve just got to take a chance and he’s been just what we needed.
“We got told he was a box-to-box midfielder who scores goals and we thought ‘brilliant’.
“You could see in his first couple of days here just how good a player he was and he also impressed the players here.
“I suppose we were in the right place at the right time with him.”and we got a bit of luck but you’ve still got to do your homework.”
Meanwhile, the Buddies have agreed a deal in principle with young right-back David Barron that will keep him at the club until 2011, while fellow youngster Ryan McCay has extended his contract by 12 months.