JOE THOMSON insists he was happy to be told his time was up at Celtic – because he craved more first-team football.
The 21-year-old has signed for Dunfermline on a two-year deal after his nine-year association with the Hoops came to an end this summer.
The midfielder joined the Celtic youth set-up in 2009 and came through the ranks to make his first-team debut against Dundee United in 2015.
However, with subsequent loan spells with Dumbarton, Livingston and Queen of the South whetting his appetite for top-team games, Thomson is convinced the time was right to make a clean break from the Scottish champions.
He said: “That was my contract up at Celtic and I had known for a couple of months.
“I didn’t get told until late in the season that that was going to be me at Celtic, but I’m looking forward to the season ahead with Dunfermline now.
“I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed to be leaving Celtic, because I wasn’t.
“I didn’t want to go back and be playing youth team football, I wanted to challenge myself.
“So, it was the right time for me to leave and it was what I wanted.
“I wasn’t too sure before my first loan at Dumbarton, but I loved it. I loved looking forward to a Saturday and, as soon as the game was over, I couldn’t wait until the next game.
“It was brilliant, it was a lot better than playing youth-team football.”
Thomson joins the likes of Sunderland midfielder Tom Beadling, defenders Danny Devine and Mark Durnan, and brothers Louis and Jackson Longridge in signing up for Dunfermline’s major squad overhaul this summer.
However, with 19 first-team games under his belt last term in the Championship, and 34 the campaign before, he has no doubts as to what the Pars should be aiming for.
He added: “I’m looking forward to the season. The aim has definitely got to be challenging for promotion.
“It’s a massive club and we would be lying if we didn’t say we would be trying to get promoted.
“I think there’s going to be five or six teams thinking they can win promotion, so it’s going to be a good challenge.
“But that’s what you want, you want to challenge yourself as a player and you want to be playing against good teams.
“It’s going to be a brilliant league to be involved in next season.”