Former Saint Parker pens deal to join Thorniewood United

New signing Keigan Parker is welcomed to the club by Thorniewood United president John Miller.
New signing Keigan Parker is welcomed to the club by Thorniewood United president John Miller.

Former Scotland under-21 international Keigan Parker has joined junior club Thorniewood United until the end of the season.

The ambitious signing of the ex-St Johnstone and Blackpool forward was secured thanks to his connection with former team-mate and Thorniewood assistant manager John-Paul McBride.

And United boss Andy Frame believes drafting in someone of the pedigree of Parker can be a masisve boost in helping his side kick on during the second half of the season.

Parker, now 34, first hitthe headlines with St Johnstone where he spent six seasons, made over 100 appearances and earned an under-21 call-up.

He moved to Blackpool in 2004 where he spent four years, the highlight of which was scoring in a League One play-off wins over Yeovil Town at Wembley.

He has also played for Oldham Athletic, Mansfield Town, Bury, Fleetwood Town, Ayr United, Airdrie and Clyde among others.

Thorniewood are currently eighth in the Central First Division, but have games in hand.

And Frame believes Parker can help drive his side up the table towards the sides striving for promotion to the Super League.

He said: “When the guys see somebody like that coming in they do get a boost from it, without a doubt.”

“I’ve got to give JP [John-Paul McBride] credit for that. We both know him from our senior days but he played with JP at St Johnstone so that was the connection there and to be fair he was getting offered better deals elsewhere so it’s credit to him to want to come and help us.

“I think he just likes the idea of coming in and helping us try and get up the league and push for the promotion places if we can.

“We did something similar last year when Kevin Harper came in and helped us.

“It’s a bit different. Kevin’s a bit older and had some injuries. Keigan’s younger, he’s still got a couple of years left so it’s not a case of him coming at the end of his career. He’s still got a reasonable amount of time left.”

Thorniewood, who still retain an outside hope of promotion, are also away to Lanarkshire rivals Larkhall Thistle, currently sitting second in the table behind runaway leaders Cambuslang Rangers.

Frame said: “They’ve done really well this year.

“Their manager’s got them well organised and they’re up there on merit because they’re a good team with some good players.

“We just need to win as many games as possible, it’s not rocket science.

“We want to get up as high as we can and finish higher than we did last year - as long as we see the progression at the club and the team.”

Meanwhile Bellshill Athletic travel to play St Roch’s this Saturday as they try to get out of the relegation places, but face a tough task against the Rock who are chasing promotion and still smarting from a 3-0 home loss to Rossvale last time out.