Eric Djemba-Djemba: St Mirren move can aid World Cup dream

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Interview: Eric Djemba Djemba

New St Mirren signing Eric Djemba-Djemba hopes he can play his way to the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Djemba-Djemba, who was released by Partizan Belgrade in December six months into a two-year deal, has agreed a short-term contract in Paisley.

"I hope the Cameroon manager can see me playing here and I can get in the squad," said the 32-year-old, who already has 24 international caps.

"You never know. I would be very happy to play for my country again."

Djemba-Djemba has not been in the recent squads of Cameroon head coach Volker Finke but is hopeful of impressing the German.

"I just need to play football and enjoy myself," he told BBC Scotland.

"After that, we'll see if the Cameroon manager will think about me. It will depend on him."

It was former St Mirren manager Sir Alex Ferguson who first brought Djemba-Djemba to Britain when Manchester United paid Nantes £3.5m for his services in 2003.

"It was a great time there with him," recalled the midfielder, who also played for Aston Villa, Burnley, Qatar Sports Club, Odense and Hapoel Tel Aviv.

"He changed my life and, for me, he is a great man and he was the daddy for me there and I will never forget him.

"I played against Motherwell in Europa League qualification when I was in Denmark with Odense and I played against Celtic in America with Manchester United, so I know a little about Scottish football."

Djemba-Djemba admits that he is a bit short of match fitness, but manager Danny Lennon expects the African midfielder to play at least some part of Sunday's Scottish Cup fifth-round tie against top-flight rivals Dundee United.

"Like every other manager and football club, you get bombarded with e-mails and texts from agents and this one came through and the name excited me," the manager explained.

"So we did a bit of homework and we liked what we saw.

"I was glad that we were able to keep it under wraps, because it's never easy for a club the size of St Mirren to keep it under the radar and not get hijacked."

Lennon believes Djemba-Djemba still has much to offer and believes the defensive midfielder will address a weakness in his squad.

"We brought Eric to the football club not because of where he has been and that fantastic reputation he has but because of where he has been recently," he insisted.

"Over the last couple of years, he has played a lot of football and, for someone at 32, still has ambition.

"He has vast experience. He's played Champions League football, he's played in World Cups, he's played in the Confederations Cup, he's won the African Nations Cup.

"He has ambitions to play in this World Cup and we can help him buy a ticket to that."

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