AFTER three years of loan moves and warming the bench at Ibrox, Jak Alnwick is ready and determined to make the St Mirren number 1 shirt his own.

The 27-year-old signed a two-year contract with the Paisley club earlier this week and faces the daunting prospect of replacing Vaclav Hladky in goal for Jim Goodwin’s side after the Czech goalie left in search of a new club.

Hladky’s form for the Buddies caught the eye and the shot-stopper was a crucial factor in St Mirren’s successful bid to beat the drop in each of the last two seasons.

Alnwick, though, is more than ready to show that he has what it takes to be an automatic pick for Goodwin between the sticks and says that he is not spurred on by showing Rangers what they could have had – rather, he wants to prove it to himself.

“First and foremost, I want to prove to myself that I can do it,” Alnwick said. “In my time there, I played a few games and was quite pleased with a lot of them.

“Obviously the semi-final against Motherwell I was disappointed with but in the quarter-final I got man of the match. That shows when you are not playing every week that you are going to have that inconsistency.

“Do I feel I have to show to Rangers what I can do? To be honest, I’d rather show to my manager at the time – the gaffer here – what I can do and prove it to myself.

“If Rangers turn round in a year’s time and think, ‘Yeah, we didn’t really give him his opportunity’ then that’s brilliant. That will mean I’ve done my job properly.

“It’s not about proving anything to anyone. It’s about my career and getting St Mirren as high as I can. The better I do, the better St Mirren will do.

“That might get me credit from other places but I’m not really interested in showing other people what I can do.

“Through your career, you just want to perform to the best of your ability. Wherever that gets you, so be it.”

Alnwick may never have gotten a fair crack of the whip while on the books at Ibrox – the former Newcastle goalkeeper made around a dozen appearances over the three years he spent in Govan – but he does not look back on his time at the club as wasted effort.

Learning from the likes of Allan McGregor, playing in front of large crowds and a couple of largely successful loan spells are just some of the positives he can take from the experience – one which he says was disruptive in part due to the number of different managers he worked under at Rangers.

Alnwick explained: “When I signed it was [Mark] Warburton and within two weeks he’d gone and all of a sudden you go from Warbs to [Graeme] Murty to [Pedro] Caixinha back to Murty to [Steven] Gerrard all within the space of a purple of years.

“It was tough for the managers to come in and make big changes. Obviously, Wes has been quite vocal with what the situation was and what Gerrard had said to him.

“That was reiterated to me – that I was going to be staying and competing with McGregor. But things happen in football. Things change. Either I went out on loan or I didn’t play a lot of football.

“It’s obviously disappointing that I didn’t get to show what I could really do. I played a few cup games and most goalkeepers will tell you that if you are only doing that every five or six weeks, you can’t get that momentum.

“For any player, if you are playing week-in, week-out, it’s just comes more naturally. So I was disappointed that I didn’t get the chance but I’m back in the same league. It’s a good chance for me to get many games behind me and show what I can really do over a long spell.

“I’m 27 and people forget that I’ve got at least another 10 years left. Some goalkeepers play into their 40s depending on how you look after yourself.

“Greegsy [McGregor] has looked after himself well. His first season back at Rangers was probably the best in his career.

“You’ve got to look at the way he’s looked after himself and the way he conducts himself and just take little pointers. Even as you get older you are always going to learn little things that will stick with you.

“He was brilliant whether I was out on loan or back at the club. I’ll hopefully take a few little pointers from every goalie I’ve worked with and use them.”