CHRIS KANE became a double winner with St Johnstone last term and at that moment it would have been easy to concede that his career had peaked.
But for the McDiarmid Park striker big matches continue to come around and they don’t get much bigger than last Thursday’s Europa League clash against Galatasaray in Istanbul.
Kane led the line brilliantly for Callum Davidson’s side and played a key role in winning Saints’ penalty that put them ahead shortly before the hour mark.
Sacha Boey would equalise to leave things in the balance ahead of next week’s return leg, but Kane was delighted with how things panned out for him and his teammates in the scorching Turkish heat.
He said: “It was brilliant. An absolutely amazing night. That result was just as good a feeling winning both cups last season.
“The cups were an unbelievable feeling, but to get a draw against a team like Galatasaray it is just phenomenal. It was really hot out there. I am glad we got the water breaks throughout the game.
“The boys were needing it, it was roasting. The heat and the amount of running I had to do, it does get to you. I felt good and I felt fit. I asked the gaffer if I could get another five minutes but he decided to take me off.
“Stevie May came on and did really well so it was a perfect day all round. They are a massive team. A lot of their players were bought for millions.
“It does show because they passed the ball well and their movement was impressive. Their central midfielders were getting on the ball and spraying it about. They were tough to play against, but it was a great experience for us.”
Jason Kerr took on penalty duties after Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera was sent off for hauling Kane to the ground following a poor defensive pass back.
The Perth skipper dispatched into the bottom left corner before the Saints players wheeled away in celebration.
Kane especially enjoyed the scenes of jubilation, and he was thrilled for his captain, despite wanting to take the penalty himself.
He continued: “I knew he was going to pass it back to the goalkeeper. I gambled on it and decided to run through. I thought ‘I am getting here’ and I managed to bring the goalkeeper out.
“He hesitated a bit and kneed it off me and I got the break of the ball. I was ready to put the ball in the back of the net, but then he pulled me down.
“We got the penalty and scored it. That is the main thing. It was a great penalty by Jason. I did want it myself but when I see him storming up to me, I thought better of it!
“The gaffer decided before the game that Jason would take a penalty if we got one. We usually have somebody set for taking one. During the game I was feeling so good that I did try and chance my luck.
“But Jason was on it and he slotted it away. It was brilliant and what a moment to go ahead against Galatasaray.”
A decision is yet to be made on whether McDiarmid Park will be able to house a sell-out crowd for the return leg in Perth, but Kane has called on council bosses to do all they can.
He explained: “We all want a sell out at McDiarmid Park for the return leg. We want to get as many fans in as possible and get the place rocking.
“Hopefully we will get all clear from the council. With McDiarmid Park full the supporters can spur us on to get a famous result next week.
“We have a right good team at the moment. The manager has us set up perfectly. We are playing brilliant football and defending well. It is an absolute joy to play here.”
Saints now face Motherwell in their first home league game of the season on Sunday and ahead of the match, Kane added: “We have bags of confidence after the Galatasaray result. We will fly home, get a good couple of days training in and look forward to Motherwell.
“They scored a couple of goals against Hibs so we will need to look at that. We will try and exploit their weaknesses and go and get our first win of the season.”