Ex-Hearts boss Robbie Neilson key to former Falkirk kid Conor McGrandles’ switch from Norwich City to MK Dons

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CONOR McGRANDLES has revealed former Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson was a key factor in him agreeing to join MK Dons on a two-year deal.

Neilson has made the 21-year-old his second summer signing after striking a pre-contract agreement with Aberdeen attacker Peter Pawlett back in March.

McGrandles left Falkirk, where he had played 75 times, for Norwich City three years ago in a deal said to be worth up to £1 million.

(Pic: Twitter @falkirkbairns)

But the midfielder made just one substitute’s appearance for the Canaries and saw a loan stint back at Falkirk last season wrecked by a double leg break after just five games.

McGrandles knows the MK Dons management team of Neilson, Stevie Crawford and Neil MacFarlane from their time together at Falkirk and is thrilled with the prospect of working under the trio at the League One club.

He said: “I’m very pleased to sign here. You never want to be worrying about your future over the off-season, so to get this done so early is perfect.

“When I learned MK Dons were interested, I knew that it would be a great place for me to come to.

“I know the ambition of the club is to get out of the league again and that was a big factor.

“I know the manager and the coaching staff well too, so that was another big draw.”

Neilson steered MK Dons to 12th in the table after joining the club in December and he is confident the capture of McGrandles can strengthen his squad for next season.

He added to the club’s website: “We are delighted to be able to bring Conor in to develop further at MK Dons.

“He is a young and hungry player but also brings with him a wealth of experience having played a number of games at first-team level already.”

• Meanwhile, former Livingston striker Marc McNulty has signed for English League Two side Coventry City on a two-year deal.

The 24-year-old was freed by Sheffield United at the end of the English Championship season after spending the first half of the campaign on loan at Bradford City.

Speculation linking him with Edinburgh rivals Hearts and Hibs proved to be wide of the mark and he has quickly sorted out his future by joining newly-relegated Coventry.

He told the Sky Blues website: “I’m delighted to join. It’s a massive football club and I’m excited to start.

“It’s been a frustrating year. I’ve been back at Sheffield United since January and I haven’t had a chance to show people what I can do this season.”

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