New St Mirren defender Adam Eckersley admits his move to the Buddies came about after coming across manager Jack Ross’ name in his phonebook.
The former Manchester United, Hearts and Hibs left-back took a proactive approach to securing a move back to the UK after his season came to an end last November at American second tier side Edmonton.
Eckerelsy, who is one of ten January recruits at Championship basement outfit St Mirren, worked alongside former Hearts Under-20s coach Ross at Tynecastle and the 31-year-old revealed he made the first move in signing for the Paisley outfit until the end of the season.
He said: “I finished playing in America in November. I had a discussion with my wife and we decided America wasn’t for us.
“I was then waiting on an offer that felt right for me as we weren’t going back to America.
“When my wife and I decided to stay in the UK, I went through my phonebook and Jack Ross’ name came up.
“I gave him a ring to see what the situation was and he said he’d like me to come in here.
“Jack was the reserve team coach when I was at Hearts. He’s a top guy and we got along well with each other.
“I knew what kind of coach he was. He has good sessions and trust is a big thing in football and I felt like I had a trusting relationship with him.
“That was a big thing for me and that’s the reason why I’m here now.”
Eckersley helped Hearts clinch the Championship title in 2015 but insists he will relish a relegation dogfight after helping Barnsley survive in the English second tier a decade ago.
Speaking to stmirren.com, he added: “There’s a lot of work to be done. I need to build a relationship quick with these players. Hopefully I’m the type of personality that can come in and hopefully lift the other boys.
“It is a different type of challenge.
“When I was at Hearts we were at the top of the league and fighting to stay there, but now it’s fighting not to go down.
“I’ve been in this position with Barnsley in the English Championship so it’s something that I’ve dealt with before.
“There are 14 games left and I don’t see why we can’t get ourselves up and start collecting points.”