St Mirren's David Barron out to catch new manager's eye
Season 2009/10 was Barron's best, with more than 40 appearances
By Keir Murray
St Mirren defender David Barron is keen to discover who will be instated as club manager and hopes that he can make a good early impression on him.
"We're just anxious to find out who it is," said the versatile 22-year-old.
"When you get back to pre-season, you just hope you catch the manager's eye, you hope your face fits and that you cement your place in the team."
Danny Lennon is the Buddies' prime target, but they have yet to agree compensation with Cowdenbeath.
Barron enjoyed his best year as a professional in the season that has just ended, picking up a number of player-of-the-year awards from sponsors and supporters' groups and playing in a national cup final.
But, after a few injuries in his early career, he places a great emphasis on the number of matches that he played.
"Prior to this season, I think the most I had played was 22 games, so to get 41 was excellent. I didn't expect it at the start of the season," said the Saints favourite from Greenock.
"I had a relatively successful season and it was good to pick up (club sponsor) Braehead's player of the year as well.
"When I got my first first-team contract, for nine months of that year I was out through injury.
"It was a bit of a blow, but fortunately the manager gave me another year to prove myself. I took that chance in the second year and kicked on from there."
In recent seasons, Barron's versatility has seen him play right across the back four, filling in for Jack Ross, who is now out of contract, Mo Camara and Chris Innes.
While he is happy to be establishing himself in the first team, he does, nevertheless, have a favoured position.
"I've got a year left on my contract, so I'd like to make sure I play as much as I can, but I like to play right-back," he said.
"I don't mind where I play, but I am more comfortable on the right side of the defence.
"If Jack moves on, I'd be looking to make it my own for next season."
A memorable moment for Barron in season 2009/10 was playing in the Co-operative Insurance Cup final at Hampden against Rangers.
"Apart from securing our status, the cup final was a high point. Although we lost, it was still a great achievement and experience to get there," he said.
"Hopefully I'll be able to do it again some time in my career."
Incredibly, nine-man Rangers won that match with a late Kenny Miller header, the Saints unable to make the most of their numerical advantage.
Yet the destination of the cup might have been Paisley and not Govan had Barron enjoyed a bit of luck.
With the teams tied at 0-0 and half-time approaching, he came close to scoring a spectacular goal when his 30-yard shot rattled Neil Alexander's crossbar.
"It was good to hit that," he said. "I just wish it had gone in, but it wasn't to be. I'll try again next year."
Barron is encouraged by the shortlist for the St Mirren managerial vacancy - Stuart Balmer, Willie McStay and Tommy Wilson vying with Lennon to be Gus MacPherson's replacement after his seven-year reign.
"They've all got experience of the Scottish game. It's important they know what it's all about," he said.
"All the guys seem to have been involved with youth (football). Hopefully, they can bring younger players through. There is not a lot of money in the Scottish game, so youth is the way forward."
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