Former postman Gareth Wardlaw finding the going tough after turning full-time at age of 31

GARETH WARDLAW admits his body has been pushed towards breaking point following his step up to full-time football at the age of 31. But the St Mirren striker is delighted he's found the perfect excuse to avoid helping around the house.

Wardlaw was a surprise summer signing by manager Danny Lennon, who made the former postman one of his main targets when he moved to the SPL club in the summer.

Nobody was shocked by the move more than the player himself, who initially thought his old Cowdenbeath boss was joking when he made contact.

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The one-time Burtisland Shipyard forward, who gave up his job with Royal Mail to go full-time, has revealed he found the rigours of training every day taking a toll on his body.

Wardlaw, who is in line to face Celtic today, revealed: "When the gaffer got the job I texted him to wish him all the best. He phoned me back a few days later and said he wanted to take me to St Mirren. I think my words were 'are you winding me up?'

"But he told me he believed in me and said he felt I could do a job at this level. So he got me in and I'm delighted about it because I never ever thought I'd get a chance like this.

"Stepping up to full-time has been really hard, I can't lie about that. My body is still getting used to it. People think that you're a full-time footballer and it's easy, but it certainly isn't.

"Training day in, day out when you've not been used to that is difficult. At the start I was in bits coming in every day, absolute bits. My routine was basically training, home, bath then bed because I was physically unable to do anything else.

"The wife was asking me to do things about the house like the ironing, but I was just lying on the couch trying to relax my body. It has been a great excuse for avoiding the housework!"

The former Raith Rovers and Ayr United man cannot believe he used to get up at 5am on a Saturday then play later. He said: "I was a postman, which is a hard physical job. When I look back I don't know how I did it because I would get up at 5am on a Saturday, do an eight-mile walk and then go away to play 90 minutes in the afternoon. It kept me fit because you are always on the go delivering the mail but it was tough."