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Irish striker Rooney makes shock switch from Aberdeen to non-league Salford City

The 30-year-old has left Pittodrie after four-and-a-half years with the Scottish Premiership club.

Adam Rooney Adam Rooney training with the Ireland senior squad in 2016. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

ADAM ROONEY WILL have a new club for the 2018-19 season after opting to swap the Scottish Premiership for the fifth tier of football in England.

Vanarama National League outfit Salford City today announced the signing of the 30-year-old Irish striker from Aberdeen for an undisclosed fee.

Salford City have ambitions of breaking into the Football League, having taken a significant step on that journey by winning the National League North last season.

The Ammies are under the control of Valencia owner Peter Lim and former Manchester United stars Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Phil Neville.

The club — who also signed ex-Limerick striker Rory Gaffney from Bristol Rovers this summer — described the capture of Rooney as “a further indication, if any was needed, that the Ammies mean business” ahead of the start of their season against Leyton Orient on 4 August.

Rooney joined Aberdeen from Oldham Athletic in January 2014. He went on to become a fan favourite at Pittodrie, finishing each of his four full seasons at the club as their leading goalscorer in the Scottish Premiership. He netted 88 times in 197 appearances.

The Dubliner, who has also had spells at the likes of Stoke City and Birmingham City, previously featured in the Republic of Ireland squad but has never been capped at senior level.

Aberdeen v Siroki Brijeg - UEFA Europa League - Second Qualifying Round - First Leg - Pittodrie Stadium Rooney scored 88 goals for Aberdeen. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

“It wasn’t easy, but I just felt my time was coming to an end here and the opportunity came up at Salford,” Rooney told Aberdeen’s official website. “I spoke to my family about it and I felt it would be a good opportunity for something new.

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“I wasn’t keen to go somewhere else in Scotland and the move [to Salford] is something I’m really looking forward to taking part in and hopefully making a name for myself there.”

He added: “The plans and ambition Salford have really intrigues me and where they want to take it. But the other side of that is actually having to leave here.

“I certainly wasn’t booted out the door. Unfortunately in football you feel your time comes to an end at certain periods in your career and you have to move on and we felt it was the right time for everyone.”

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, whose side are preparing for a Europa League second qualifying round clash with Burnley next Thursday, said: “We wish Adam all the very best with his new venture and it is always with a heavy heart when you lose a good player who is also a really good person.

“Since I signed Adam four and a half years ago, he has given us nothing but good value and has been a fantastic boy to work with.”

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Paul Dollery

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