Every Scottish Premiership Club's Top Scorer Still Playing At The Club
The last few weeks have seen a couple of changes to each club's current top scorer charts. Scott Pittman's goal away to Aberdeen put the midfielder as the current top scorer for the Lions, providing Livi fans with something to take away despite a disappointing defeat. Pittman's goal would also see him become the 10th Livingston player to score 10 goals in the top flight, further putting his name into the Livingston record books. Becoming the club's joint current top scorer at the club, totalling 31 in all competitions. It's a great feat for a player who joined the Lions from Junior level, arriving at Almondvale in 2015 from Bo'ness United. Pittman has enjoyed a great spell in those 5 years, being a prominent feature in the club's recent triumphs and doing more than enough to make his name in the Scottish leagues, especially as an underrated talent.
Later on in the week, Motherwell would also crown new faces at the top but for a different reason. The sale of David Turnbull to Celtic would leave the top spot open as the midfielder's long-awaited move finally came through. With talents in the Scottish Premiership being snapped up regularly following good form, these changes are a lot more frequent which leads to some surprise entries at the tops of the lists. As the international break is underway and narrows the chances of this list changing and Pittman's achievement in mind, there's no better time to take a look at each of the current Premiership club's squads and see who is each of the side's current top scorers still plying their trade at the club.
Finding complete stats proved to be difficult in some cases, with sources counteracting with one another. The following numbers have came from transfermarkt.com so apologies if there are slight differences in the tally's.
Aberdeen: Niall McGinn (85)
Despite the good goalscoring form in recent years from Sam Cosgrove and return of winger Jonny Hayes, Niall McGinn is safely top of the goalscoring charts in the current Aberdeen squad. With a hefty 85 goals - as well as 78 assists - in 317 games is a solid record for a wide player, leading to a goal contribution per 1.9 games.
After excelling in his native Northern Ireland, McGinn would be snapped up by Celtic but would struggle to land a first team spot at Celtic Park. Competition in attacking positions would see McGinn lose out and eventually be loaned out to Brentford before his contract expired with the Glasgow club. The Northern Irish winger would sign a two-year deal at Pittodrie, arriving at the same time as Jonny Hayes with the two going on to provide the Dons with great attacking output for years to come under the reigns of Craig Brown and Derek McInnes.
McGinn's Aberdeen career didn't get off to the best of starts, with the winger being stretchered off near the end of his home debut, colliding with Ross County's Grant Munro. Thankfully, McGinn wouldn't be sidelined for too long, recovering about a month later and making an impact instantly. Coming on as a substitute, McGinn was pivotal in a great Aberdeen comeback as they came from 3-1 down against Motherwell to draw 3-3, with McGinn scoring a crucial goal to make it 3-2. From here, McGinn's Aberdeen career would truly flourish as he broke Duncan Shearer's record of scoring in 5 consecutive games for the club with his sixth coming in a 2-1 loss to Ross County. The 2012-13 season saw McGinn truly on fire, ending the season on 21 goals and earning a PFA Scotland Players Player of the Year nomination, as well as winning Aberdeen's respective Player and Players Player of the Year awards.
The next season would bring more success to McGinn, with the winger finishing as top scorer for the second year running and also winning the Scottish League Cup, the Dons first trophy for 19 years. This would, unfortunately, be the only piece of silverware for McGinn at the club, eventually leaving at the end of the 2016/17 season where the club frustratingly finished runners up in all three domestic tournaments, losing out to Celtic each time.
A short stint in South Korea for Gwangju didn't quite go to plan, with the Northern Ireland attacker struggle to settle in Asis before parting ways only 4 months into his contract. A month later McGinn would return to Pittodrie, signing a three and a half year contract that is set to expire in 2022. Still very much a key part of Derek McInnes' squad, McGinn is still the main creative driving force at the club, hitting double figures in goal contributions in the last two seasons. Now aged 33, McGinn is coming to the tail end of his career but his impact in the Granite City has been terrific and is arguably the best Aberdeen player of the last decade.
Celtic: Leigh Griffiths (115)
The highest scorer on this list, Griffiths is the only player to have broken the century mark for his current club. Undeniably a miraculous talent, it does seem odd to still feel like the striker could've done even more despite his incredible goalscoring record.
Breaking through at Livingston with spells at Dundee and Wolves, Griffiths truly made his mark at Hibs where his goalscoring caught the eyes of many. His pace, great finishing and deadly set-pieces saw the striker in excellent form, with Griffiths winning PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year in the Scottish Premier League Yearly Awards. The Scottish Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year would top off a great campaign, with the striker ending the season on 28 goals and earning a dream move to Celtic.
Signing a four-year deal in 2014, Griffiths scored his first goal for the club away to Hearts with a great piece of individual forward play and a memorable cheeky celebration in front of the Tynecastle faithful. A hat-trick versus Inverness would shortly follow as Griffiths linked up well with teammate Anthony Stokes in his first half-season at the club.
Despite the forward's good form, he would fall out of favour under new manager Ronny Deila due to an apparent lack of fitness. Griffiths would not feature until October with the striker being linked with a return to Easter Road but soon returned to the first team. Deila seemed to be proven right, praising Griffiths' work on his fitness as the striker reaped the rewards, scoring 20 goals that season. Griffiths would become the main man under Deila the next season, taking the number 9 jersey and repaying the Norweigian manager's faith in him as he went on to have his best-ever season, scoring an incredible 40 goals in all competitions. The enigmatic Griffiths was the first to reach such a tally since Henrik Larsson in the 2003/04 season which saw the striker win the PFA Scotland, Scottish Football Writers' and Scottish Premiership Player of the Year awards as Celtic picked up their 5th consecutive league title.
Griffiths looked set to continue his red hot form the following season after impressive displays in the Champions League qualifiers. However, injuries would see the striker lose his place to Moussa Dembele who took full advantage of his opportunity and reducing Griffiths' gametime. The striker would still be impactful when called upon as Celtic finished the 2016/17 season as treble-winning Invincibles. Griffiths would continue to be forced to share game time with Dembele up until the Frenchman's departure but was soon battling Odsonne Edouard for the starting role, with the former PSG man being favoured by Brendan Rodgers.
Rodgers would go onto announce in the 2018/19 season that Griffiths would be away from action in order to deal with personal issues. Griffiths would properly return to action in the 2019/20 season under Neil Lennon, rejuvenated and striking up a lethal partnership alongside Edouard, netting an impressive 11 goals in 21 games following his return.
However, as well known with Griffiths, the abundance of talent comes with issues off the pitch that have been made very public. Most recently, it seems as if manager Neil Lennon has been questioning the striker's commitment, with issues of fitness reappearing as well as others. On his day, Griffiths is the best Scottish striker but can't seem to get on the right track just now. Whatever that reason may be, hopefully, he can knock whatever obstacles are in his way so that not only he can be back scoring goals but can be back fit and healthy once again.
Dundee United: Lawrence Shankland (28)
Even only one season in, Lawrence Shankland sits in a familiar sight, at the top of the goalscoring charts. After slipping through the cracks at Aberdeen with loan spells at Dunfermline, Morton and St Mirren along the way, Shankland really began to make noise for himself whilst at Ayr United.
Shankland would drop down to League 1 with Ayr where he was able to gain valuable first-team experience, with consistent goalscoring performances doing wonders for his confidence. A great first season at the club saw the striker score 29 goals in a title-winning season. Shankland would go on to score 34 goals the next season, including 24 league goals that featured a stunning quartet against Dundee United, a game that will have certainly made him a priority signing for the Terrors.
As Shankland's Aye contract ran out, he would swap United's and join Robbie Neilson's Dundee United. United had been desperately unlucky in their attempts to return to Scotland's top-flight but the recruitment of such a prolific striker made them firm favourites from the get-go. Shankland would waste no time showing United fans what he can do, scoring early on his debut in a Betfred Cup tie against then Premiership Hearts. His league debut for United couldn't have gone much better, netting another memorable quartet of goals in the opening day 4-1 victory over Inverness. Shankland would continue his form through the remainder of the season until it was prematurely cut due to COVID-19. The striker ended the season with an incredible 28 goals in all competitions
33 games, an outstanding output in a single season.
This single-season sees him edge out Nicky Clark who with two goals already this season sits on 24 goals. With Shankland currently out injured, Clark could narrow the gap and create somewhat of an interesting competition between the two, with United reaping the benefits of having two decent strikers at the club.
Hamilton Academical: David Templeton (12)
If only he stayed for this season, it would've given me a chance to write about one of my all-time favourite Scottish football villains, Darian MacKinnon (13). David Templeton will have to do instead, with the midfielder edging out Greek striker Marios Ogkmpoe by a single goal.
The story of David Templeton is an unfortunate one. A very bright talent who was a great talent as a Hearts player who sacrificed his career to turn out for Rangers in the lower leagues. Despite excelling in the lower divisions, his career at Rangers never took off, ending up falling out of favour at the club and eventually leaving.
Templeton would join Hamilton for the first time in a short term deal in 2017 following a trial at MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps and a brief spell training with Dundee United. The former Hearts player would score in his second appearance for the club in a 3-2 losing effort away to Ross County. Templeton would extend his stay for the 2017/18 season where he would prove very useful, contributing 7 league goals that season, helping Accies avoid relegation yet again. Templeton's good form would earn him a move down south with Burton Albion taking a punt on him.
Templeton would only be at the League One club for around 18 months before rejoining Accies for the second half of the 2019/20 season. He would manage a single goal before the league was called short due to the epidemic with injuries limiting his game time so far this season. On his day, Templeton is widely talented and can make a massive difference for a team like Hamilton. Accies have had troubles in front of goal so far but with Templeton nearing full fitness, he should make a difference to Accies attacking output.
Hibernian: Martin Boyle (36)
With surprisingly Paul Hanlon in second place (23), Martin Boyle sits as the club's current top scorer with 36. With two of these strikes coming on the opening day of the season, Boyle has shown plenty of reason as to why Hibs were desperate for him to sign a new contract. With Boyle penning a new contract that'll keep him at Easter Road until 2023, you can expect him to add a lot more to this tally.
Starting his career and impressing at Montrose, Boyle would be signed by then top-flight Dundee but struggled to break into the team and was loaned back to Montrose. After returning to Dundee he would play 29 times in the Championship as the club were promoted once again but Boyle would only play half a season before being loaned back to the Championship. Here he would join Hibs, in a swap loan deal that saw Alex Harris go the other way, a deal that would see Hibs come out much better in.
Boyle would make his Hibs debut in the Edinburgh derby against Hearts on the third of January and score his first goal for the club at the end of the month a 1-1 draw with Raith Rovers. The winger would score another two by the end of the league season, impressing enough to convince Hibs to take him on permanently, as Boyle rejected a new contract from Dundee. Boyle would really make a name for himself in the Hibs team in the 2016/17 season, playing a key role in Hibs return to the Premiership following their relegation in 2014. Boyle scored 9 times that campaign as he benefitted from fewer injuries that plagued him the previous season.
The winger from Aberdeen's form would continue, pushing Hibs to reward him with a new deal until 2021 as he cemented his place in the Hibs team. There was plenty of productivity from the quick midfielder as he was soon rewarded at International level, with Australia capitalising on Scotland manager Alex McLeish lulling over whether or not to select Boyle. The winger would have a dream debut as he scored a brace and assisted the other in a 3-0 win. Sadly, Boyle would end up picking up an injury whilst on international duty which would rule him out for the rest of the 2018/19 season.
Boyle would recover and then frustratingly suffer a recurrence of his injury that forced him out yet again. He would make his return in a 2-2 draw with Livingston in October, with Boyle marking his return with a last-minute equaliser and morale boost which the Hibs faithful desperately needed. The month of December would see Boyle really shine once again, netting braces against Aberdeen and city rivals Hearts, earning the player the Premiership Player of the Month award.
Boyle has been unlucky with injuries at Hibs but there's no question about the danger he brings when on the field. With the midfielder committing his future to Hibs, fans can rest easy knowing that they aren't in danger of losing their key wide player under Jack Ross. Hibs have quite an exciting attacking look about them just now and with Boyle's future determined, things seem to be going just right for the Leith club at the moment. With Doidge and Nisbet on the scoresheet early on this season, Boyle will need to keep sharp in order to keep hold of his place at the top of the scoring charts.
Kilmarnock: Eamonn Brophy (32)
The current Kilmarnock team features a handful of players who have been everpresent over the last three or four years. Stuart Findlay, Kirk Broadfoot, Alan Power and Gary Dicker have been mainstays in defence and midfield, with Chris Burke, Rory McKenzie and Eamonn Brophy being prominent in advanced positions. The latter, Brophy, is the only striker out of the bunch and despite Burke's great goalscoring form at the start of this season, it is to no surprise that he sits top of the leaderboard.
After being dismissed at Celtic and Hibernian for being "too short", Brophy earned his chance to breakthrough at Hamilton Accies in the Championship. Loan spells at Queens Park and Dumbarton helped a young Brophy bide his time before breaking into the Accies first team in the top flight of Scottish football. Despite only scoring 8 times for Accies over a few seasons, Brophy's potential could be seen which prompted Kilmarnock to sign the striker for the 2017/18 season.
In his first season at the club, Brophy would often play second fiddle to the veteran striker and prolific goalscorer Kris Boyd, a great mentor for a young budding striker. The former Accies striker would score his first goal for Killie in a 2-1 victory away to St Johnstone, the winner which would spark a run where the striker scored 4 goals in 3 games. Brophy would feature 22 times in the league, with 12 starts and 10 substitute appearances as he scored 7 times with his strike partner Boyd reaching 18 goals. The duo's partnership would help the club finish 5th, the first time the club was in the top 6 since 2010/11.
The following season would see Brophy emerge as more of the main man at Kilmarnock as Boyd started to wind down. A full season under manager Steve Clarke would do wonders for both Brophy and Kilmarnock as a whole, with the striker finishing the season as top scorer (11) with the club finishing in 3rd place, the clubs highest finish since the 1992/93 season. Brophy's excellent season would be capped off on a memorable final day, as a late penalty from the striker cemented Kilmarnock's 3rd place spot and European football for the next season.
Brophy would score in his first European game but would be unable to stop Killie crashing out of the Europa League against Connah's Quay Nomads. The 2019/20 season wouldn't be as kind to Kilmarnock but Brophy would manage 9 league goals, with an impressive end to the season where he scored 6 goals in 7 games as the club ended the season in 8th place as the season ended prematurely.
A goal in the 4-0 win over Dundee United would take Brophy's tally as a Killie player up to 32, the striker's first goal of the 2020/21 season. With the quality between teams being very close, Killie will need more output from Brophy this season if they are to finish in the top 6 once again. With a partnership alongside Nicke Kabamba helping make a difference against United, Killie fans will be hoping their number 9 can add to this tally as Alex Dyer's side look to improve on the previous season.
Livingston: Raffaelle De Vita & Scott Pittman (31)
As previously mentioned and the inspiration for this piece, Scott Pittman put himself on 31 goals for the club, the most out of the current playing squad. But he's not alone at the top, with Italian veteran Raffa De Vita also sitting on 31 according to Livingston's stats.
Joining the club in 2009, De Vita's first goal for the Lions came in a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Dundee, a last-minute consolation on a dismal day for the Lions. The Italian attacker would join Livi in the 2008/09 season but properly make his name the next season in the Third Division following Livi's demotion to the bottom tier due to financial issues. De Vita would flourish in the lower divisions, a key player as the Lions made a swift return to the First Division, forming a good partnership with veteran striker Robbie Winters. De Vita would leave before playing in the First Division, joining Swindon on a free transfer in 2011.
Pittman would join in Livi in 2015 after dropping down to the juniors after being released by Hamilton in 2011. Spells for Broxburn and Bo'ness would do wonders for Pittman, who signed for Livi and hasn't looked back since. Pittman has been an ever-present figure in the Livi team ever since, with the attacking midfielder soon becoming a regular starting, completing his first full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw away to Rangers. Pittman's first goal for the Lions would be one to remember, the opener in the Lions 4-0 Challenge Cup Final win over Alloa Athletic. Pittman's first few seasons at Livi would showcase his talents but the team were shocking defensively, leading to a surprising relegation to League 1 at the hands of Stranraer.
However, this relegation may have been the best thing for the Lions, a chance to regroup and develop young talent and have a better go at the Championship the next season. Pittman would truly shine this season with 10 goals to his name as the Lions returned to the Championship in convincing fashion. Following spells in England and at Ross County, De Vita would join Pittman and co in League 1, with the two scoring together on the last day of the season in a 2-0 win against Albion Rovers.
This wouldn't be the only time the duo netted in the same game, with Pittman and De Vita going on to score their most iconic goals for the club the next season. A Premiership Play-Off Semi-Final at Tannadice would have De Vita open the scoring against favourites Dundee United in under 2 minutes, a dream start that showed Livi meant business. An exciting game would see United lead 2-1 before Livi showed grit and square it up at 2-2. Arguably the most iconic moment of the Livi promotion campaign would shortly ensue, with Shaun Byrne tenaciously harassing United in their own half leading to the midfielder dispossessing Anthony Ralston. Pittman would react first and start bearing down on goal, nutmegging the oncoming Bilel Moshni and delightfully chipping Harry Lewis, sending the Livi faithful into pandemonium.
Since then, the two's careers have gone in different directions. Pittman has very much remained a key part of Livi's team since the club's return to the top flight. De Vita sadly would be struck with a horrendous injury that would see him miss most of the 2018/19 season and struggle to break into the first team. Loans at Partick Thistle and Falkirk followed the next season and seems likely the forward will be playing football elsewhere again this season with Livingston bulking up in attack with younger players. Livi fans would love for De Vita to notch a goal in the Premiership before he leaves, allowing him to join the list of players to have scored in Scotland's top four divisions but is sadly seeming unlikely. Regardless of that, with 31 goals and other contributions, De Vita is undoubtedly a Livi legend, just as Pittman is as well.
Motherwell: Allan Campbell, Liam Donnelly and Chris Long (12)
As I began writing this, a certain David Turnbull sat top of the Motherwell goalscoring charts, with 16 goals in his 41 games for the club. A deal was made for Turnbull to become the club's record sale for an estimated £3 million, joining champions Celtic. With this sale, the space at the top of the scoring charts was taken over by a trio of players all joint on 12 goals.
The first of the three is Motherwell academy graduate and star midfielder Allan Campbell. Breaking into the Motherwell first team in the 2016/17 season, Campbell finished the season strong, starting 5 of the last 6 games of the season. Within this run, Campbell scored his first goal for the club, a header in a 4-2 win over Inverness, a game where he also picked up his first assist. As the 2017/18 season came round, Campbell was a key member of the first team, featuring 29 times in the league with two goals to follow. Campbell matched his tally the following season, with strikes against Dundee and St Mirren in the 2018/19 season. Campbell would more than double his overall goal contributions with 6 goals, 5 in the league and a Scottish Cup equaliser against St Mirren in the dramatic 4-4 draw that Motherwell later lost 7-6 on penalties. This remains Campbell's only goal out of league football, with the midfielder taking his tally to 12 this season with a well-taken goal in the 2-2 draw with Livingston.
The second player on 12 goals is Liam Donnelly, who could have pipped the other two had he not missed his penalty against Ross County this season. Nonetheless, Donnelly has scored 12 since arriving from Hartlepool, his first coming on the final day of the 2018/19 season against Livingston. Donnelly would find more success the following season, with 4 goals in the Group Stages of the Betfred Cup. Donnelly would continue his early goalscoring form, with 4 in the 4 opening league games that included a brace against Celtic, a run that also saw him booked in each of the first 5 games too. As an occasional penalty taker, it will be likely Donnelly will add to his tally, that is if he is still favoured on the set-piece following his abysmal attempt on the opening day.
Last of all is Chris Long, a striker who joined the club in the summer of 2019 from Blackpool. Long didn't quite have a dream debut, being stretchered off after being struck in the face by the ball in a Betfred Cup game against Queen of the South. Long would get his first goal in a losing effort against Hearts in the Betfred Cup, following his goal up the next game in a 3-1 win over Hamilton. Long would finish his first season with 11 goals and eventually decided to extend his stay at Fir Park for the 2020/21 season. Taking the number 99 shirt, Long would join Campbell and Donnelly on 12 goals with a goal in the 5-1 win over Glentoran in the Europa League qualifying rounds. The highlight for Long so far will easily be a hat-trick against Dundee last season in the Scottish Cup with a great individual performance in the 3-0 win.
The trio are yet to all score on the same occasion - a tough ask to be fair - but have come close to doing so. Long and Donnelly both scored in the 3-1 win over Hamilton in 2019, with Long also scoring alongside Campbell in the 2-1 win over Livingston in the same season.
With plenty of football coming up thick and fast with Motherwell balancing league duty with the Betfred Cup and Europa League qualifiers, it'll be fully expected for either Campbell or Long to put themselves ahead of the currently injured Donnelly. Motherwell fans will certainly be hoping so as the club have had a terrible start to the league season, with the Steelman currently sitting bottom of the league.
Rangers: Alfredo Morelos (79)
Based on Steven Gerrard's comments regarding the Colombian striker and the constant transfer speculation, Alfredo Morelos may be on limited time as a Rangers player. Morelos has been a great servant to the club, with 79 goals since joining in 2017, 32 goals more than James Tavernier in second place. If Morelos does leave, he will be sorely missed as the striker is a true character who brings genuine quality to our league.
Making his debut coming off the bench in the home win against Progres Niederkorn - less said about the second leg the better -, Morelos would start brightly for Rangers with a double against Dunfermline in a resounding 6-0 win. The striker's first league goal came in a 3-2 loss against Hibs but 'El Buffalo' soon became a fans favourite at the club as he scored 6 in the first 6 league games of the season. Morelos would finish the season as the club's joint-top scorer (alongside Josh Windass) with 18 goals that included an impressive 14 in the league, a great return for his first season in Scotland.
The following season would see Morelos truly make his name, scoring an incredible 30 goals in all competitions, despite temper issues. An impressive run through October to December saw the Colombian score in 7 consecutive league games which helped towards his end of season tally of 18. Kilmarnock were the side who faced Morelos' wrath the most, with Morelos scoring a stunning 10 goals in 6 games against the Ayrshire club. 18 goals in the league would be enough for Morelos to finish the season as the league's top scorer which led to call-ups for the Colombian national team. An exquisite season where Morelos showed great talent at a young age, the striker certainly caught the attention of many for a number of reasons.
The 2019/20 season would see Morelos not score as much on league duty but light up the Europa League, setting a record of the most goals scored before Christmas in a European campaign with 14. Morelos also set a club record, becoming the first Rangers player to score in 4 consecutive European games with his brace away to Feyenoord. Morelos would continue to be a nuisance on the pitch, with plenty of goals and controversy in 2019 but something seems to have dropped off in 2020.
Morelos' goalscoring form has suffered in the new decade, with only 1 of his 29 goals coming in the second half of the year, showcasing how excellent he was in the first portion of the season. With the new season beginning, there's been a lot of public talk of Morelos leaving and with this, his place in the Rangers team has been lost recently. Despite this, Morelos has two goals and two assists in 4 games this season, showing he does have great quality when he turns it on. It may turn out though that these are his last contributions in the blue jersey of Rangers.
It will be a sad day for Scottish football when Morelos parts way with the league. Love him or hate him, he is pure entertainment and a great character for our game, with villainous tendencies but jaw-dropping talent at times. A bright future at only 24 years old, it'll be interesting to see where Morelos goes from here, whether apart of Rangers or not. If he stays, he's a massive asset for the club going forward as they look to put an end to Celtic's dominance in domestic tournaments.
Ross County: Michael Gardyne (71)
With 71 goals in 410 appearances over two loan spells and two permanent stints, Michael Gardyne is not only the current top scorer in the County squad but the top scorer of all time for the Highland club.
A youth player for Celtic, Gardyne's first taste of professional football came in a loan spell to County in 2006, rounding the keeper on his debut in a 2-0 victory against Airdrie United. Gardyne's first season would bring silverware, with the midfielder being a part of the 2007 Challenge Cup winning side as County beat Clyde 5-4 on penalties. Despite Gardyne's 6 league goals, which included 3 in the last 4 games, The Staggies were relegated from the First Division, missing out on 9th by 3 points.
Following a continued struggle to break into the Celtic team, Gardyne joined Morton due to working with then-manager Jim McInally in the Celtic youth teams. However, this would be very short-lived and Gardyne would return to Ross County in January 2008 where he would help the club win promotion at the first time of asking. After a quietish season in 2008/09, Gardyne truly shone for County in the 2009/10 season, being a key part of the underdog story where County finished runners up in the Scottish Cup, eliminating Hibs and Celtic on the way. 13 goals and 9 assists in all competitions earned him a nomination for First Division Player of the Year, losing out to Inverness' Adam Rooney.
Gardyne would go on to lift the Challenge Cup again in 2011 as Ross County saw off Queen of the South, adding another 5 goals to his tally in the 2010/11 season. Gardyne would have an excellent season in 2011/12, scoring 18 goals for the Highland club, attracting interest from top-flight clubs. Ross County would win the First Division by 24 points in a dominant season with Gardyne missing out on being top goalscorer that season by two goals with Colin McMenamin hitting 20 goals.
Gardyne wouldn't be making the jump up to the top flight with County though, signing for hometown team Dundee United. Gardyne would feature regularly in the 2012/13 season before being loaned out to Kilmarnock the following season. Gardyne would return to Ross County in the 2014/15 season, finally getting his chance to play for the club in the top flight, scoring 6 times in an impressive return to the club.
Gardyne would again sign on a permanent basis for Ross County for the 2015/16 season where he has been ever since. That season would be legendary for the club, with a 6th place finish and the club's first-ever major trophy coming in the form of the League Cup. Gardyne would play the 90 minutes and score the opener in the final as County beat Hibs 2-1 at Hampden Park, surely the midfielders greatest achievement within football.
A couple of injuries would see Gardyne miss out on some games and see his game time reduced has he returned to full fitness as County finished in a very respectable 7th place. County would lose star player Liam Boyce the following season and his goals would be missed as Gardyne and County were relegated from the Scottish Premiership, with Gardyne only able to add a further 3 goals to his tally. A now very experienced Gardyne would feature heavily again as County continued their yo-yo like tendencies, with a fractured foot ruling him out of the team's selection for around two months. As the Staggies returned to the top flight, Gardyne would experience injury troubles with his hamstring which would rule him out for the majority of the season, before it was prematurely ended.
As the 2020/21 season has begun, Gardyne has featured in each game so far, adding to his record of being the club's record appearance holder. Gardyne is the kind of player whose achievements won't be appreciated in the mainstream due to his tenure at a smaller club. He has been a great servant to Ross County and Scottish football as a whole. At aged 34 now but looking like he has plenty of football left in him, Gardyne will be looking to build on his impressive tenure this season and hopefully, for a few more too.
St Johnstone: Liam Craig (57)
Breaking the 400 mark with an appearance against Rangers earlier this season, Liam Craig has made the Saints second-highest appearances for the Saints. With this, it is no shock that he is the club's current top scorer, despite competition from Murray Davidson and Stevie May.
Beginning his career at Ipswich before being signed by Falkirk, Craig would initially join the Perth side on a month's loan to begin with in December 2007. Craig would score on his home debut in a 5-2 win against Livingston and positive performances prompted the Saints to extend his loan until the end of the season, before signing him permanently for the next season.
Craig's first goal as full-time St Johnstone player would come in the 3-0 win over Partick Thistle with the midfielder making it two from two the following game against Dunfermline, the winner in a 2-1 victory. A win over Ross County the following week on matchday 13 would put St Johnstone top of the Championship, the spot they'd remain for the rest of the season. With 5 goals and 34 league appearances, Craig was a vital part of the Saints team that propelled them back into the top flight.
The Saints would finish 8th in their first season back in the Premiership with Craig notching 9 goals alongside 5 assists. With a double against Hibs in a 5-1 win and a goal in the shock 4-1 victory over Rangers, the Saints enjoyed a successful season with Craig shining as top scorer. Craig's attacking output would continue with 12 goals over the next two seasons, helping the Saints finish in the top 6 in the 2011/12 season. This top half finish would earn Craig and co European football, going into the second round of the Europa League qualifying rounds. St Johnstone would improve on their 6th place finish by jumping up two spots to 4th. Craig again would prove to be of great value, with another 8 goals in all competitions. Craig would sign a pre-contract with Hibs meaning he would be playing for the Easter Road side in the 2013/14 season. Sadly for Craig, the move would see his Hibs side relegated whilst his former side won the Scottish Cup for the first time in the club's history.
After an unsuccessful attempt at getting out the Championship, Craig's contract was not renewed at the end of the 2014/15 season but he was welcomed back to McDiarmid Park for the next season. Craig slotted straight back into the first team, only missing three league games due to suspension as the club finished 4th with Craig contributing 6 goals and 5 assists. The following season would see a similar output from Craig, this time 5 goals and 6 assists in another 35 league games.
Only 5 goals would follow throughout the next three seasons as Craig's goal contributions seemed to dry up. This was until the opening day of the 2020/21 season where Craig showed his skill with an excellent volley against Dundee United, taking his tally for the club up to 57. Another one of these players will a long career behind them, the 33-year-old has made a good name for himself over the years and has been a key part of St Johnstone's success in the past decade. Providing key experience in Callum Davidson's squad that has something exciting talent coming through, Craig will look to continue leading by example and add more appearances and goals to his résumé.
St Mirren: Jonathan Obika (14)
Following the departures of Stephen McGinn (15 goals) and Danny Mullen (14 goals), the St Mirren squad is lacking in combined goals for the club, with a host of new faces and young players filling the roster. With a good start to the season, Saints are looking good with new top scorer Jon Obika off the mark with two league goals already this season.
Joining from Oxford United in August 2019, the former Tottenham youth player would bide his time before becoming a regular starter last season due to the striker missing out on most of pre-season and the Betfred Cup games. Obika's first goal for the Buddies would come in the 2-0 home win over St Johnstone in October and would go on to score 8 league goals, including a brace in the 3-3 draw with Livingston. Obika would find good success in the Scottish Cup, scoring braces against Broxburn and Motherwell, taking his tally to 12 for the season.
By far Obika's most famous moment as a St Mirren player was his goal in the 1-0 victory over Hearts on what would be the last fixture played in the 2019/20 season. With both teams in a relegation battle, the game looked vital for both sides as Hearts looked to lift themselves off the bottom of the table and St Mirren trying to create a bigger distance between themselves and those at the bottom. A 1-0 win for the Buddies with Obika scoring the only goal would go onto have bigger consequences than imagined, with the emergence of the Coronavirus prompting the league to be halted and points per game to be used to determine the final standings. Obika's goal would be the last piece of action in the league and partly caused Hearts controversial relegation, leading to the striker earning cult hero status.
Firmly the starting striker in Paisley, Obika has scored twice this season already, the goals against Hamilton and Ross County taking his tally to 14 goals. If St Mirren are to continue their good form, they'll need Obika to continue firing throughout the season especially due to the league seeming extremely tight this season. A handful on his day and a bright start to the season, Obika has continued from where he left off last season, although he'll need to do something very spectacular in order to create a more memorable moment than he did last season.