As a proven goal scorer it would have surprised few when Brian Graham bagged a brace of goals in a recent a start in the league win against Aberdeen. Now he is off the mark for the Club in the Premiership the striker told Andrew Ross he is targeting more goals and why nothing less than a top six finish and cup final appearance will suffice this season.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about how you got started in the game?
A: “My first professional club was Greenock Morton. I was there on a two year YTS contract and then for four years on a professional contract. I really enjoyed my time there, learned my trade and also got to go out on loan one season to East Stirlingshire. I was 18 years of age at the time and I scored 19 goals in the old Third Division.
“That time in the Third Division was a huge learning curve for a young striker. There were a lot of good ex-pros plying their trade at that level and it was a huge help to my career and with my development.”
Q: Where did you move to after Morton?
A: “I moved to Raith Rovers where I stayed for two seasons. That’s where I really started making a name for myself because I was scoring a lot of goals. I did really well in my second season there when I scored 27 goals. That helped me earn a move to Dundee United.
Q: That must have been a big move at that stage of your career?
A: “Yes, it was a big move to go from the First Division to a club like Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership and things got off to a great start. I scored 7 goals in 13 starts during the 2014/14 season, we got to the Scottish Cup final and the club finished 4th in the league.
Q: But you weren’t totally happy at Tannadice?
A: “No, I just felt I didn’t get enough of a chance. The club had had a good season but I went to see manager, Jackie McNamara, and told him I wanted to play more so that’s how I ended up going on loan to St Johnstone.
“I scored ten goals that season for St Johnstone. We finished 4th in the Premiership and my goals actually did Dundee United out of a European place. They probably weren’t too happy about that but St Johnstone were delighted because they got into Europe and probably made a bit of money from that.
Q: Was going back to Dundee United an option after that?
A: “I was in the last year of my deal so I knew that I wasn’t going back anyway. My goals per game ratio there was better that one in every two games so I thought you couldn’t really argue with that but Jackie McNamara was running things his way so that was that really.”
Q: What about St Johnstone? Was staying there an option at that time?
A: “Yes, I could have stayed at McDiarmid Park. They offered me a two-year deal but I had already decided to move to Ross County. I had spoken to Jim McIntyre in February 2015 and made my mind up and given him my word so I was never going to go anywhere else.”
Q: What made you choose Ross County?
A: “I’d never spoken to Jim before he called in February but he spoke very highly of Ross County and told me how he wanted to run the Club. He invited me up and showed me round the stadium and the training facilities and told me what they had done to improve things and I thought it all looked brilliant. Jim was first class too and told me of the high hopes he had for the Club so that’s why I made my mind up to make the move to Dingwall.”
Q: Have you enjoyed your first six months at the Club?
A: “Yes. Off the field it has been great. I am here on a two-year deal so my wife and two kids have moved up and we are really settled and enjoying life in the Highlands.
“On the park it’s been a good time too. We have made a particularly good start to the season – as I’d hoped we would. There is obviously a long way to go but we will all be continuing to work really hard to stay in the top six which is what everyone wants.
“On a personal note I had seen that Liam Boyce and Craig Curran had both played well last season and scored the goals that kept the Club in the Premiership and they both started this season particularly well too so I knew I had to bide my time to get my chance. But I believe when I have come in I have done well and I have scored a few goals now and long may that continue.
Q: Do you have any targets for the season?
A: “I do have a target for the number of goals I want to score but I never share that with anyone else. That is for me to know and everyone else to find out later if I’ve made it or not! In terms of team targets I think top six and a good cup run was the priority for us this season. We have made it to the League Cup semi-final now so our targets have changed and now we really want to make it to the final. We obviously have a huge game with Celtic at Hampden to come and I think we have a great chance of getting to the final.”