Maybury joins St Johnstone

Alan Maybury has joined Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone on a short-term contract after Colchester United negotiated a pay-off for the last year of the defender’s contract.

ALAN Maybury has signed for St Johnstone after negotiating a pay-off with Colchester United for the last year of his contract.

The 32-year-old former Republic of Ireland international defender has signed a 12 month contract at the Scottish Premier League side.

And with full-backs Dave Mackay and Danny Grainger both injured he could make his debut against former club Aberdeen tomorrow.

Maybury became a regular for Colchester in the second half of the 2008/9 season after being signed by Paul Lambert, but failed to feature at all for the U’s last season after Aidy Boothroyd took over.

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New U’s boss John Ward took a look at him in pre-season but has decided that, with Brian Wilson and John White vying for the right-back position, Maybury should move on.

“I played in all the pre-season games for Colchester but not for 90 minutes,” said Maybury, who spent four years at Scottish club Hearts (2001-05), as well as short loan spell at Aberdeen in 2008.

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“I had a year left on my contract and I could have sat there taking the money but I want games.

“I’ve worked my socks off in training so it’s just match sharpness I’m lacking.

“My wife Leigh is Scottish and was keen to return north of the border. We’ve also had health issues with our three-year-old daughter Grace so the timing was right in many ways.

“I had a good time in Scotland with Hearts before Craig (Levein) took me to Leicester. He has been a massive influence on my career.

“I’m probably better known up here than down south. This is a fresh start for me.”

Speaking ahead of the transfer, U’s boss Ward said: “Alan is a terrific pro and we have had some very professional discussion about this. We respect each others views.

“He’s had a difficult time lately and I think it’s time for him to go and play his football elsewhere. Hopefully he can get his career back on track again.”

Saints boss McInnes admitted he was persuaded to swoop for Maybury after speaking to Scotland boss Levein, who signed the player for Hearts then Leicester, and Lambert, who took him to Colchester in 2008.

He said: “Alan is someone we have been aware of and, given our injuries, the chance has arisen to bring him in.

“It was an opportunity we couldn’t say no to. I’m delighted to get a player of Alan’s ability, experience and versatility. He is a great addition to our squad.

“Alan has played under some great managers and both Craig and Paul spoke very highly of him.

“I also played against him when he featured in an excellent Hearts team. If he reproduces that sort of form he will be a huge asset.

“I always thought Alan was a good defender. He obviously has the ability and I didn’t need to see him again to know what type of player I was getting.

“It is always helpful to speak to people he worked for and they have been very complimentary about him and his character.

“I have also done my homework and played against him before.

“If he can perform at the level that saw him shine at Hearts, we have done well by bringing him here. I am expecting big things from him.”

The Dublin-born defender started his career at Leeds United where he was largely a fringe player during a successful period at the club. He spent much of his time at Elland Road out on loan at the likes of Reading and Crewe, but did enjoy the experience of playing in a 3-3 draw with Lazio in the Champions League before being an unused sub in the semi-final second leg with Valencia.

Maybury signed for Scottish Premier League side Hearts at the start of the next season (2001/02) for �100,000 and he quickly became a regular.

Hearts qualified for the UEFA Cup in his second season at the club and, after featuring against Bordeaux in the competition the following campaign, the Republic of Ireland national side came calling.

In his fourth season north of the border Hearts made it to the group stages of the UEFA Cup, prompting Championship side Leicester City to sign him in January.

After three seasons and 85 appearances in the Championship, Maybury headed back to Scotland for a loan spell at Aberdeen at the end of the 2007/08 campaign before being released by his parent club.

The Irish defender went on trial at Bristol City that summer, but decided to wait for the right deal to come along – eventually signing for Paul Lambert at Colchester United in December following a three week trial.

A regular under Lambert in the second half of that season, Maybury failed to feature at all for the U’s last season after Aidy Boothroyd took over in September.

The last of his nine international caps came in a 1-0 friendly victory over Holland back in 2004.

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