JAMES MARWOOD has revealed he spurned a host of big-money offers to sign on at St Mirren this summer.

The forward put pen to paper on a one-year deal in Paisley last week to become new Buddies boss Tommy Craig's second acquisition of the close season after Mark Ridgers joined from Hearts.

Manchester City starlet Ellis Plummer arrived earlier this week on a loan deal as Craig continues to build his squad ahead of the new Premiership campaign.

Marwood was in demand at the end of the season after helping Gateshead into the Conference play-off final at Wembley, where The Heed narrowly lost out to Cambridge United.

It is in Scotland's top tier where the 24-year-old will play next term and he is determined to repay Craig's faith in him and shine for the Saints.

Marwood said: "I had loads of offers. I got offered a lot more money at other places.

"But I wanted to come up here and play in the Premiership for St Mirren.

"Tommy's enthusiasm for the game is second to none. He really swayed me when I came up.

"In the first meeting, I thought, 'this is the guy I want to play for' and I knew he was the one who could progress me as a player."

He went on: "I am not the finished article, I have still got to work on my game, like every player.

"I am really looking forward to playing for Tommy and hopefully partnering Thommo [Steven Thompson] up front so I can start showing the fans what I can do."

After the St Mirren squad returned for fitness testing on Tuesday, boss Craig began putting his squad through their paces yesterday as he was joined by coaches Jim Goodwin and Gary Teale on the training ground.

The Saints received a huge boost this week when Kenny McLean signed a two-year contract extension and Marwood is confident there is a perfect blend of youth and experience in the Buddies ranks.

He said: "I have been in a few dressing rooms and you can tell this squad has a great chemistry.

"It is quite a young squad. I am used to having a few more older pros, but there is a lot of enthusiasm amongst the younger lads and the likes of Jim and Gary to lead by example as well.

"There has been some good banter already but there haven't been any pranks yet so I am still waiting on my initiation. I am keeping quiet for now!"