Peterhead FC: Ross Smith signs for Blue Toon

Peterhead have signed Dundee United defender Ross Smith on a six-month permanent deal.

Smith, who starred as a loanee in the Blue Toon’s impressive promotion push last season, is boss Jim McInally’s first signing of the January window.

McInally tried to sign Smith permanently in the summer but could not tie the 21-year-old down.

Smith has since spent time on loan at Stenhousemuir and was actually sent off at Balmoor earlier this season as Stenny beat Peterhead 3-1 in the Ramsdens Cup.

Earlier today (Friday) Smith was released from his contract with United by mutual consent.

McInally, who has strong ties to Tannadice, said: “Ross has played with us before and that’s made it easy.

“He doesn’t need to come in and prove anything.

“He was part of that fantastic run at the end of last season and he’s liked by the staff, the players and the fans.

“He’s a big centre half - simple as that. We like our players to be aggressive and win their headers.

“Ross does that.”

During his 18 months at Balmoor, Smith made 39 appearances and scored one goal.

McInally added that, although he is still keen to bring in another player, replacing Reece Donaldson at the heart of the Blue Toon defence was his priority.

Donaldson was on loan from Raith Rovers but was recalled earlier this month.