Ten facts about Falkirk’s new striker Conor Sammon

Picture Ian Sneddon. Connor Sammon signs for Falkirk FC.
Picture Ian Sneddon. Connor Sammon signs for Falkirk FC.

Falkirk last night announced the signing of former Hearts and Kilmarnock striker Conor Sammon.

The 32-year old brings a wealth of experience in both Scottish and English football with him after bursting on to the scene at Rugby Park in 2008.

Sammon has earned nine senior caps for the Republic of Ireland

Sammon has earned nine senior caps for the Republic of Ireland

Here are 10 facts about the Bairns new hitman.

1. International experience

Sammon has represented the Republic of Ireland at Under 21, Under 23 and senior levels - earning nine full caps since 2013.

He made is debut under legendary Italian gaffer Giovanni Trapattoni against Poland, being named in the starting 11 and playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 win at the Aviva Stadium.

He joined Wigan from Kilmarnock for a reported fee of �600,000 before leaving to join Derby County one season later for �1.2 million

He joined Wigan from Kilmarnock for a reported fee of �600,000 before leaving to join Derby County one season later for �1.2 million

2. Too good for Championship football?

That same year, Trapattoni was quoted in the press saying that Sammon, who was with Derby County in the English Championship at the time, should have been playing Premier League football down south.

“They (Sammon and Derby teammate Jeff Hendrick) play Championship, and I have to ask why when I see the games in the Premier League and the way they play with us. Quality is quality.” said the Italian.

This angered Rams boss Nigel Clough who responded: “We don’t really think it is his place to be commenting on things like that. We can take it as a backhanded compliment, in some ways.”

Sammon was the talk of Scottish Football for thispromotional tweet from Partick Thistle

Sammon was the talk of Scottish Football for thispromotional tweet from Partick Thistle

3. Cherry picked

Sammon began his career as a youth player with Cherry Orchard FC.

That name may not be too familiar to Bairns fans however, the club have been responsible for producing some very familiar names to Scottish Football fans over the years.

Former Falkirk striker Anthony Stokes was also on the books at Cherry Orchard as were Celtic star Johnny Hayes and Aberdeen midfielder Stephen Gleeson.

Picture Ian Sneddon. Connor Sammon signs for Falkirk FC.

Picture Ian Sneddon. Connor Sammon signs for Falkirk FC.

Other notable players to have made their name in Scotland who represented the Orchard include; Sean Dillon, Jon Daly, Willow Flood and Gary Dempsey.

4. Third times the charm for Ray

After the signing of Sammon was announced, Bairns gaffer Ray McKinnon said that this was not his first attempt at landing the striker.

He said: “I have tried to sign Conor before for Dundee United and for Falkirk in January, and whilst we couldn’t make it happen then, we are over the moon to have finally got our man.”

5. Sammon of Knowledge

A popular figure during his time with University College Dublin (UCD), the club’s fans humorously dubbed him ‘Sammon of College’ - a play on ‘The Salmon of Knowledge’, a creature figuring in Irish mythology.

Sammon spent three years at UCD before a move to Derry City in 2007.

He spent just six months with The Candystripes before his move to Kilmarnock.

6. Pizza the action

In February 2018 Sammon was a talking point for football fans, pundits and commentators across the UK.

Then with Partick Thistle, Sammon received a free pizza from popular restaurant chain Pizza Express as part of a promotion that saw Jags season ticket holders receive 25% off at the restaurants.

As if this alone wasn’t enough, Sammon’s expression - which saw him looking less than thrilled at receiving his free pizza, had football fans across the country in fits of laughter.

7. Million pound striker

Sammon was a popular figure during his time with Derby County, making him well worth the reported £1.2 million fee the Rams reportedly dished out to sign him from Wigan.

His move to The Latics from Kilmarnock the previous year had reportedly come at a fee of £600,000.

8. Popular but not necessarily prolific

Although Sammon was a fan favourite at both Derby and Kilmarnock, his goal scoring record over the course of his career has not been the most prolific.

In 141 appearances in the Scottish Premiership across his career he has scored 29 goals while in the English Championship he netted just 14 times in 117 games.

However, Sammon showed during his first spell with Killie that he knows where the back of the net is and his powerful style and skill should lend itself well to Falkirk’s League 1 title bid.

9. Killie record in context

Sammon’s 18 goals in 27 games for Kilmarnock during the 2010-11 season made him that season’s top scorer at the club.

15 of his 18 goals came in the league and, in the modern era, only Kris Boyd has ever scored more league goals in a single season for the Rugby Park side.

Steven Naismith also netted 15 goals for Killie in the 2006-07 season but no player apart from Boyd has surpassed the 15 goal mark since 1990.

That is a list of notable players including the likes of Ally McCoist, Colin Nish, Dean Shiels, Josh Magennis and Souleymane Coulibaly.

10. Dropping down two divisions

By moving from Hearts to Falkirk Sammon will be leaving the Scottish Premiership for League 1.

This will be the lowest level of Scottish Football the striker has competed in meaning expectation amongst not only Bairns fans but the wider Scottish Football community will be high for the experienced striker to hit the ground running and start finding the back of the net on a regular basis.

Falkirk fans should get their first taste of Sammon in competitive action for the club next Saturday as they host Livingston in the opening game of their Betfred Cup group stage campaign.