St Johnstone striker Parkin grateful for Chelsea grounding

St Johnstone striker Sam Parkin is grateful for his grounding at Chelsea. Parkin came through the Blues ranks alongside John Terry.

St Johnstone striker Sam Parkin is grateful for his grounding at Chelsea.

Parkin came through the Blues ranks alongside John Terry.

And the experience of watching and learning from the likes of Terry, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink and Gianfranco Zola helped make him the player he is today.

Parkin revealed a big influence on his career was former Blues youth coach Jim Duffy.

The 29-year-old told the Scottish Sun: "Jim was at Chelsea in my second year as an apprentice.

"He was a big influence and pushed me - and probably pushed people at Chelsea - to get me on a professional contract. Jim was a positive influence and liked me as a player. I always got on well with him.

"He was a hard task master, one typical of the 90s I suppose. I don't know what it's like nowadays, but you would get told to do all the jobs back then. You would look after the first-team players, speak when you were spoken to and so on.

"But Jim had a good sense of humour as well. I'm sure he's pleased to see me come up the road to Scotland. I maybe never graced the Chelsea first team but I can't buy the education I got, the contacts, the good habits and other bits and pieces.

"Even watching the first-team players on the other pitch was an amazing experience. Being around that from a young age at 12 or 13 - I used to go to Stamford Bridge and watch games, be a ballboy and so on - was brilliant.

"But if I had gone to a club like Swindon or Millwall at 16 I'd probably have played 200 games by my 20th birthday.

"But I don't have any regrets about it because I wouldn't have had that valuable experience I gained at Chelsea."

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