Jak Alnwick insists decision on his future will not be dictated by money as he ponders new St Mirren deal

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The former Rangers man has enjoyed an impressive run of games as the Buddies first-choice shot-stopper in recent seasons

Jak Alnwick knows he has a tough decision to make on his future within the next month but the St Mirren goalkeeper insists it won’t come down to wages.

The Buddies No.1 has been a standout performer for Jim Goodwin’s side for a second consecutive season after arriving in the summer of 2020.

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However, the ex-Rangers shot-stopper, who is out of contract in the summer, has so far stalled on signing a contract extension tabled to him three months ago.

Jak Alnwick missed training in the lead-up to his side's 2-0 defeat at Ibrox after a disrupted fortnight. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Jak Alnwick missed training in the lead-up to his side's 2-0 defeat at Ibrox after a disrupted fortnight. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Jak Alnwick missed training in the lead-up to his side's 2-0 defeat at Ibrox after a disrupted fortnight. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Alnwick has started all bar two of the Paisley outfit’s fixtures to date this term and he admits his choice will not be based on how much he’ll be getting paid after previous moves severely limited his game time.

He explained: “The biggest thing for me will be getting game time.

“There have been occasions in the past when I have jumped at things instinctively, thinking the grass was greener elsewhere.

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“For this summer I’ll be taking my time and coming to the right decision. It’s difficult - I’ll be 29 in June and, while that’s young for a goalkeeper, I need to look out for my family’s future, and also think about my happiness.

“It doesn’t just come down to money, I’ll take everything into account, so there’s a lot for me to consider.

“I couldn’t be happier at St Mirren and I really appreciate the fact a new contract is on the table. They respect my situation and I respect theirs.

“ I know they are not Rangers and that the wages are completely different at different clubs as you go through the Premiership.

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Alnwick spent 2019/20 on loan at Blackpool from Rangers, though his playing time in League One was cut short after he sustained a broken arm in January.Alnwick spent 2019/20 on loan at Blackpool from Rangers, though his playing time in League One was cut short after he sustained a broken arm in January.
Alnwick spent 2019/20 on loan at Blackpool from Rangers, though his playing time in League One was cut short after he sustained a broken arm in January. | Getty Images

“We all know the situation we’re in and there will be other conversations ahead over the next few weeks. There should be a resolution in the next month.”

Alnwick made his 74th appearance for Saints during last Saturday’s 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Kelty Hearts and the 28-year-old reckons the club have done more for him than another other team he has played for.

Prior to arriving in Renfrewshire, Alnwick had struggled to gain regular action at Ibrox and various clubs south of the border.

The Geordie admitted: “Yes, I think St Mirren have, although Port Vale also did a lot for me after I left Newcastle. I played 79 games in two seasons for them.

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“I’d made eight appearances for Newcastle and we were scraping around, trying to find someone interested in me.

“It was difficult because a lot of clubs wanted an experienced keeper - someone who’d played 100 league matches - and that wasn’t me.

“Rob Page at Port Vale took a big chance on me and that was a massive help at the time. Then, a year-and-a-half ago, I was out of contract and recovering from a bad bicep injury and it was also the first Covid lockdown.

Jak Alnwick is expected to complete a move from Port Vale to Rangers. Picture: GettyJak Alnwick is expected to complete a move from Port Vale to Rangers. Picture: Getty
Jak Alnwick is expected to complete a move from Port Vale to Rangers. Picture: Getty

“Nobody knew what was going to happen, but then the gaffer (at St Mirren) called me and told me he wanted the deal done straight away.

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“He spoke about his ambitions for the club, and told me that I needed to play first-team football for the next two years - and that’s how it’s worked out.

“St Mirren took a huge risk in signing me, but it’s worked out brilliantly and I owe Jim Goodwin a lot for making that phone call during Covid.

“It’s been a brilliant 18 months or so since then and I’m hoping to play in every game between now and the end of the season and then we’ll see where that takes us.”

Saints are undoubtedly on an upward trajectory under Goodwin’s guidance, which has led the Irishman to be linked with the vacant managerial post at Premiership rivals Aberdeen this week.

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Alnwick added: “It’s brilliant to see how things are going. I look at the changes here from this year to last year – whether it’s staff, meals, travelling to away games, everything – and they’re constantly trying to improve.

St Mirren's Jak Alnwick saves a close range shot from Hibs' Ewan Henderson.  (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)St Mirren's Jak Alnwick saves a close range shot from Hibs' Ewan Henderson.  (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
St Mirren's Jak Alnwick saves a close range shot from Hibs' Ewan Henderson. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

“The training ground is being renovated, pitches are being re-laid and the club is definitely heading in the right direction.

“You want to be able to pass that baton on so that everything’s settled for the next ten years and the next group of lads who’ll come in.”

Former Aberdeen keeper Jamie Langfield has played a leading role in Alnwick’s development in becoming a first-choice keeper after filling understudy roles at his previous clubs.

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Asked how Langfield compares to goalkeeping coaches he has worked with in the past, Alnwick replied: “He’s amazing.

“Goalie coaches often come into your career at different times but it’s not always about the coaching aspect, it’s about the man.

“You could have the best coach in the world but if he doesn’t speak to you and have a laugh with you and work out the type of person you are then it won’t work.

“Everyone knows that goalkeepers are difficult to deal with, but Jamie knows how you feel, even though we don’t dwell on mistakes. The way that he works with us, it’s been amazing for me.

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St Mirren were forced to bring in Zdenek Zlamal for the league clash with Hibs on Saturday. Picture: SNSSt Mirren were forced to bring in Zdenek Zlamal for the league clash with Hibs on Saturday. Picture: SNS
St Mirren were forced to bring in Zdenek Zlamal for the league clash with Hibs on Saturday. Picture: SNS

“We get on with things in a good working environment and you can see that in the performances of Vaclav Hladky and Dean Lyness and myself in the last four years.

“The credit has to go to Jamie and I think he’s good because he’s not long finished playing and he knows the situation you’re in. He’s created a very good working environment.”

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