St Mirren secure goalkeeper Graeme Smith

St Mirren goalkeeper Graeme Smith
Smith remains in the Scottish Premier League with St Mirren

St Mirren have completed the signing of Graeme Smith after the goalkeeper was released by St Johnstone.

Smith has agreed a 12-month contract and will be a direct replacement for Paul Gallacher, who moved back to former club Dunfermline.

The 28-year-old will compete for the first-team jersey with Craig Samson, who was second choice to Gallacher and made 11 appearances last season.

Smith himself made the same number of appearances for the Perth side.

The Bellshill-born goalkeeper had found himself behind Peter Enckelman in the McDiarmid Park pecking order and he realises he has a battle on his hands to become first choice in Paisley.

"Me and Craig were at Kilmarnock together as youth players and then our first couple of years as professionals," he told St Mirren's website.

"We are good pals, but it will also be a good rivalry and I have no doubt that the one who gets to play will have the backing of the other.

"I'm not coming here expecting to be number one. I know that I will have to fight for the place and no doubt Craig will be looking to do the same."

Smith began his career with Kilmarnock, where he also found himself second choice to Gordon Marshall then Alan Combe and had loan spells with Queen's Park and Stenhousemuir.

He refused a new contract and in 2007 joined Rangers, for whom he only made one appearance before moving on to St Johnstone in July 2009.

St Mirren were looking for a replacement after Gallacher rejected the offer of a new deal and the Paisley club had been linked with out-of-contract Kilmarnock goalkeeper Cammy Bell.

"It is hard in football just now due to the financial climate - there are more players out there than there are squad places available," added Smith.

"It is nice that Danny Lennon wants me here at St Mirren and this is a new challenge for me, which I'm looking forward to.

"I believe that St Mirren is a good club that is going places.

"I feel that they were better than their league position showed last year, but I suppose that has happened to a few teams over the years.

"Speaking to the manager and looking at the club and the players that they have brought in so far, it looks to be exciting times here at St Mirren."