FORMER DERRY City winger, Niall McGinn believes his new club, Aberdeen can challenge Celtic for the Scottish Premier League crown this season.
And the 24 year-old Dungannon man, who signed for Celtic as a winger back in 2009, believes he can help gun down the Parkhead men as he stakes his claim for a striking berth with the Dons.
The N. Ireland regular, who was freed by the ‘Hoops’ at the end of the season after a 12- month loan stint at Brentford, penned a two-year contract with Craig Brown’s troops this week.
“With the current state Rangers are in there is no reason why Aberdeen cannot challenge Celtic next season,” he said. “With the squad and manager we’ve got we should definitely be pushing for Europe.
“There is no reason why we can’t do well and bring success back to this club. Aberdeen is a big club with a lot of history and it’s good to be working under an experienced manager like Craig Brown.
“I played as a winger with Celtic and on loan at Brentford but earlier in my career at Derry City I did well as a striker. I see myself as a goalscorer, I’m always hungry for goals.”
McGinn grew up as a ‘Hoops’ fan and relished his time with the Glasgow giants, but can’t wait to kick off his career in the Granite City after seeking some friendly advice.
“I’m happy everything is done and dusted and I can’t wait to get started. There were half a dozen offers from Scottish and English clubs and it was a tough decision but I’ve made the right one.
“I played 40-odd games last season and I will use that experience to help me here. I spoke to my N. Ireland mates Josh Magennis and Rory McArdle and they only had praise for Aberdeen.
“I certainly have no regrets about my time at Celtic though. I loved every minute. However, competition for places is really severe there and I broke a metatarsal in my foot and was out for months.
“I did score three goals in two games after coming back but then Kris Commons arrived and I dropped out the side.”
The Dons were the lowest scorers in the SPL last term but as boss Brown expressed his delight at snaring McGinn he insisted his new capture can be the catalyst for a change of fortune in front of goal.
“Niall has 18 caps for N. Ireland and is coming here as an out-and-out attacker. He has been playing in wide positions but has been desperate to use his electric pace through the middle.
“We are delighted. In recent internationals he has been man of the match against the Czech Republic, Serbia and Israel.
“He has the attributes I have been looking for and I think it will be a major help to Aberdeen to have Niall here.”