THAT New York isn’t exactly a hotbed of soccer became apparent to Oan Djorkaeff only when he moved to France as a teenager.

The 22-year-old had grown up in the United States well aware of the achievements of his footballing father, Youri, most notably his key role in helping France win the 1998 World Cup and then the 2000 European Championships.

What those successes meant to others, though, only really sunk in when the family moved to France and Oan took the first tentative steps in his own football career at first St Etienne and then Montpellier.

At that point comparisons were impossible to avoid. Now the younger Djorkaeff has pitched up in Paisley having signed a one-year deal with St Mirren, no longer trying to compete with his father but focused only on trying to make his own way in the game.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Alex Jones doesn't mind doing Kenny Miller's running at Partick Thistle

“It was hard in the beginning in France,” admitted Oan. “I didn’t live there until I was 15 so I hadn’t appreciated how big a name he was there. He had finished his career in New York so I had grown up there.

“Playing football in France was a big pressure in the first two years but I got used to it. It was just the people around us [who talked about it]. The comparisons are for them now. I’m just proud to wear that name.

“He is a big name all around the world but in France particularly. But I got used to it and now I need to make a name for myself. If people want to compare then that’s normal. I’ll have that throughout my whole career. But I’m trying to follow my own path. If I can do half of what he achieved in his career then I’ll be happy.”

Youri, the former PSG, Monaco and Bolton Wanderers forward, remains a telling influence on his son’s career. Eschewing the thrilling denouement to both the tennis and cricket on Sunday afternoon, Djorkaeff Sr was instead glued to BT Sport’s coverage of his son’s debut as a substitute against Dunfermline Athletic. His son expects he will likely be a regular visitor to the Simple Digital Arena this season.

“We talk every day and he gives me advice,” added Oan. “He was a big part at the start of my career. I was born into football and raised with that. I’ve had it all my life. He watched Sunday’s game on TV and right afterwards he texted me some thoughts on how I played. I’m lucky to have that kind of advice. He lives in London now so it’s not far for him to get to our games – just one hour on the plane. He will come to the home games I would hope.”

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Rangers place above Celtic in Global Club Soccer Rankings

Djorkaeff joined St Mirren on their pre-season training camp in Spain before touching down in Scotland for the first time in his life. There his agent Mikael Silverstre, the former Manchester United player, took him immediately to three football stadia to show him where he could be playing this season. That was enough to persuade Oan to sign.

“When I arrived my agent brought me from the airport to the St Mirren stadium and then on to the Celtic and Rangers stadiums. He told me if I signed I could play in front of 50,000 or 60,000 fans this season. So I thought I would come here. I just want to help the team win to make the fans happy.

“I knew a little bit about Scotland before I came although this is my first time here. I knew the atmosphere is crazy. Even in France we hear about how the diehard fans live for the game.

“I hope I showed our fans on Sunday a little bit of what they can expect from me this season.”