Saturday, May 21, 2022
SportLeague One & TwoEx-Dundee United winger Aidan Connolly relishing reunion with Ray McKinnon after crossing...

Ex-Dundee United winger Aidan Connolly relishing reunion with Ray McKinnon after crossing divide from Dunfermline to Falkirk

AIDAN CONNOLLY insists the lure of a reunion with Falkirk boss Ray McKinnon convinced him to drop down to League 1.

Connolly, 23, has joined the Bairns on a two-year deal after being released by fierce rivals Dunfermline last month.

The former Dundee United winger worked under McKinnon with great success at Brechin City and Raith Rovers, helping the latter secure a stunning Championship playoff place against the odds during the 2015/16 campaign.

And Connolly reckons he can rediscover his best form under the watchful eye of McKinnon.

“I know what the manager [McKinnon] is like and how he works,” said Connolly. “When I spoke to him on the phone he gave me confidence, made me feel good about myself and I can’t wait for the new season.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Raith Rovers with the gaffer. I played well during that season and I know he can bring the best out of me.

“We were the underdogs throughout that season, reached the playoffs and even beat Hibs in the first leg of that tie. It was a brilliant changing room and he built a squad of good players.

“Hopefully, this season he can replicate that and get the right players in. He is excited by the players he has brought in already and I know he is looking to bring in even more quality to make sure Falkirk come straight back up to the Championship.”

After making the decision to drop down to League 1, Connolly added: “Sometimes you need to take a step back to come forward.”

Connolly found the net once in 25 outings for Dunfermline during an injury-hit campaign last term, nevertheless he is acutely aware that crossing the divide to join Falkirk from the Pars may raise a few eyebrows.

He laughed: “I’m going to get slaughtered because I am coming from Dunfermline!

“No, I know it means a lot to the fans and I’m probably getting cursed in Fife – but I’m excited and ready to do the business for Falkirk.”

Connolly is Falkirk’s third summer signing following the captures of Michael Tidser and Gregor Buchanan, while it is understood they are hot on the trail of a new goalkeeper and central defender.

McKinnon added: “I’ve known Aidan since he was a young boy at Dundee United, I took him to Brechin and I took him to Raith Rovers and I think he will be fantastic for Falkirk. He’s talented, skilful, at a good age and can make the difference in big moments in games.”

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