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Jay Henderson pens new St Mirren contract

The 19-year-old midfielder aims to emulate Scotland stars John McGinn and Kenny McLean who came through the club's academy.

Jay Henderson hopes he has enrolled on a crash course to the top like fellow St Mirren youth academy graduates John McGinn and Kenny McLean after extending his Buddies contract.

The Saints teenager has been rewarded by Buddies boss Jim Goodwin with a new two-year deal after making his first-team breakthrough this month.

The 19-year-old midfielder made his first start during Wednesday's win over Ross County having also been introduced off the bench during recent clashes with Hamilton and Motherwell.

Now he is hoping to add his name to a Saints honours list led by Scotland aces McGinn and McLean.

The duo both emerged through the club's Ralston youth system before moving on to bigger and better things.

The pair are set to link up again in Steve Clarke's Scotland midfield at the Euros this summer before going head to head in Premier League action next term after McLean's Norwich side clinched their return to England's top flight.

"I've always looked up to John and Kenny with the careers they had and the fact they started that career here at St Mirren in the youth academy," said Henderson.

"You see how well they are doing in the Premier League and for Scotland too and that's the aim for me too.

"Those two guys are the role models of the club for all the young boys to look to, especially for the likes of me and the other lads in the academy.

"I'm buzzing to have the new deal signed. I'm aiming to get cemented into the first-team and start as many games as I can.

"The next couple of years are going to be important for me and my career, so having the two-year contract is good."

McGinn and McLean were team-mates of Goodwin when Saints lifted their last trophy with the club's 2013 League Cup win.

The current Paisley crop missed the chance to match that feat when they slumped to a semi-final defeat against Livingston back in January.

However, victory over Kilmarnock in Monday's Scottish Cup quarter-final will send Saints back to Hampden – a thrilling prospect for Henderson.

"It would probably be the best day of my life if I could play in a big semi-final," said the youngster.

"But it's all about the club and trying to make sure we get the win.

"I know the last semi-final we had didn't go to plan so hopefully we can go one better this time."

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St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright pictured in January 2016
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CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan103518
United StatesUnited States98825
ChinaChina95721
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia77418
Great BritainGreat Britain45413
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (3.15am-6.10am)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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