New St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin insists he is delighted to have realised his ambition of returning to the club in the dugout.

The former Saints captain, who lifted the League Cup in 2013, signed a three-year deal last Friday to replace Oran Kearney following a successful two-and-a-half year spell in charge of Alloa.

A fans’ favourite during his spell as a player in Paisley between 2011 and 2016, Goodwin admits he always had aspirations of becoming the club’s manager.

The 37-year-old had appeared to be the front runner for the Dundee vacancy before James McPake was appointed last month but Goodwin insists is over the moon to have returned to St Mirren.

He said: “It’s brilliant to be back, I got the phone call last week and was delighted to go and meet with the board and Gus MacPherson [technical director] to discuss their plans for the future, it ticked all the boxes.

“Everyone knows my affiliation with the club and how much I loved my time here, so it was a no brainer.

“It was pretty straight forward and I’m absolutely over the moon to be here.

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“I always said when I left the club that I would love to come back one day as manager.

“When I went away to Alloa to play initially – and then Jack Ross left pretty soon after, that job probably came sooner than expected but it was always my ambition to get back here.

“I can’t explain to people how hard I was trying to make this one work.

“I know the job came up a couple of occasions in the last couple of seasons and I did speak to the club on one occasion but I just felt that the timing of the whole thing wasn’t right.

“I wasn’t offered the job at that time but I just felt like I wasn’t ready.

“Once I got the call this time I was desperate to make it happen.”

Goodwin, meanwhile, insists he has his work cut out trying to assemble a squad for the new campaign.

Chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick has already said that the Irishman has the finance to recruit at least seven players.

Goodwin, who is with the team at their training base in Spain, added: “The training session we had gave me a great lift because there are some great players there and a good core to work with.

“We know we have to add to it, the recruitment side is the most important side of any manager’s job and we’re working tirelessly behind the scenes to try and get the right people in, the right characters to get stability back at the club.

“We have a list the length of my arms in terms of players we’ve already identified and it’s trying to make it work now.

“We’re booking for players in every position – that’s not to replace guys who are already here, it’s getting competition for places.

“I don’t want any player in their comfort zone, it’s not healthy.”