It’s a move far from home – but former Blackburn Rovers striker Dominic Samuel says Ross County is a challenge he needs at this stage in his career.
Having had an injury-hit few seasons over spells with Blackburn Rovers and Gillingham, Samuel has joined County on a two-year deal. It’s a first move outside the English Football League for Samuel, and for someone who thought they’d always play in England, cinch Premiership football in Dingwall is quite the first step outside that bubble.
The striker said: “I had options to stay in England but when you have teams in your league like Celtic and Rangers it makes you want to come out of your comfort zone and test yourself against the better teams in this league. Some of them are better than teams down south. I can stay focused, I’m far away from my family and friends.
“That’s football, if you want to do your job as best you can sometimes you’ve just got to put that behind you. Staying up here, far away from everyone else, helps me to remain focused and do what I need to do. With football there can sometimes be a lot of distractions. You’re here to do a job. You just have to get on with it.
“The coaching staff and everyone here have made me feel so welcome, especially coming all the way from London. They speak good football, they have been there and done it as well. The main thing was making me feel at home. The squad here has got everything here that a player needs, so there are no excuses.”
He’s Malky Mackay’s second signing as Ross County manager and Samuel has been sold on Dingwall by the new manager. Having scored just five league goals since the 2018/19 season over 39 appearances at Blackburn and Gillingham, Samuel wants to get playing regularly.
He said: “It’s different for me coming up from England, but I think it’s the right time to play against the teams in this league. I can test myself against teams that are in Europe. The manager and coaches made it so much easier for me coming up this way when I spoke to them.
“The competition in this league is really good and that’s something that I need. I just want to get as many goals as I can. I don’t like to look too far ahead, I always like to take each game as it comes. I think it’s just mainly about scoring goals and staying fit.
“The world is your oyster, when you work hard every day you don’t know where the end goal will be. I don’t personally like to look too far ahead. I like to keep it short and sweet, but I mainly just want to get goals under my belt and stay fit, and do what the manager asks.”
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