Niall flourishing at Pittodrie Stadium

William Cherry/Presseye

William Cherry/Presseye

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For most players, being told you are no longer good enough to play for Celtic Football Club can signal the end of a meaningful career.

After all, signing for any other club in Scotland (outside of Rangers) is clearly a sign that your career is headed on a downward path and you are hardly likely to hit the big time again.

That’s exactly what looked like happening to ex-Derry City player Niall McGinn after Celtic loaned him to English League One club, Brentford and then didn’t renew his contract. However, a new contract offer from fellow SPL club Aberdeen, a desire to remain in top flight football and a manager who was prepared to take a chance on him has rescued McGinn’s career.

Not only is he a regular in the Aberdeen side but he’s also their top scorer and the player that opposition sides see as the biggest threat,

The icing on the cake for Niall has been his nomination for player of the year in Scotland.

I don’t expect McGinn to actually win this accolade but it’s still an incredible achievement to be one of four players nominated by your fellow professionals in the Scottish Premier League.

McGinn is a genuinely nice guy with no airs and graces and stands as a role model to young players who get knocked back in their careers.

He has showed the type of spirit so often missing in today’s players and like everybody else in this part of the world I’m delighted for him.