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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 19:16 GMT
Hillcoat joins St Mirren
Jon Connolly in action for Motherwell
Former Well keeper Jon Connolly is at Dumbarton
St Mirren have signed goalkeeper John Hillcoat from Dumbarton after failing in an audacious bid for Celtic's Jonathan Gould.

It follows the departure of St Mirren's first choice, Ludovic Roy, on loan to Scottish Premier League strugglers St Johnstone.

The First Division club had approached Celtic hoping to take Gould on loan.

But, with Dimitre Kharine injured and Michael Herbert recently leaving on loan for Hamilton Academical, Gould is now needed as cover for Robert Douglas.

Celtic goalkeeper Jonathan Gould
Jonathan Gould is needed by Celtic
St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour explained that allowing Roy to leave was a way of cutting costs at the financially-stricken club and possibly selling the goalkeeper to a richer club.

"It's very regrettable that Ludo has had to go out on loan, which is basically putting him in the showroom at a higher level," said Gilmour.

"There is no easy answer to it, we either have a club or we don't have a club and the only way we can have a club is to reduce these costs immediately.

"The bottom line is that the present squad should have been good enough to challenge for the First Division, but we now find ourselves 19 points behind the leaders.

"We know that Kris Robertson isn't really ready to step into the first-team, so we've taken action by signing John Hillcoat today from Dumbarton who is an experienced goalkeeper."

John Hillcoat was due to leave Dumbarton
John Hillcoat has joined St Mirren
Hillcoat made his debut in a 4-1 defeat away to Ayr United on Tuesday night.

St Mirren became Hillcoat's eighth club, the 31-year-old having started his career at Dunfermline Athletic before playing for Hamilton, Partick Thistle, Clydebank, Morton and Queen of the South.

Hillcoat was already on his way out of Dumbarton, who had brought in former Motherwell goalkeeper Jon Connolly.

Connolly and former Airdrieonians and Partick striker Robert Dunn played as trialists against Queen's Park at the weekend.

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