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'At my age it was an opportunity I couldn't turn down' - Leaving Dundalk for Scotland

After four successful seasons with the Lilywhites, David McMillan signed for St Johnstone last week.

David McMillan leaves Dundalk after four seasons at the club.
David McMillan leaves Dundalk after four seasons at the club.
Image: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

AFTER OFFICIALLY SIGNING for Scottish Premiership side St Johnstone last week, David McMillan has spoken about how he thought he had missed the opportunity to become a professional footballer.

The 29-year-old Dubliner has spent the past four seasons at Dundalk and leaves Oriel Park with three SSE Airtricity League Premier Division titles, one FAI Cup and two League (EA Sports) Cups to his name.

A fan favouite striker, McMillan scored 23 goals in all competitions for the Lilywhites in 2017 and penned a two-and-a-half year deal with St Johnstone after his contract expired.

“Really looking forward to getting going,” he told RTÉ 2fm’s Game On of his new venture which will begin on 8 January.

“It’s a huge challenge for me and I can’t wait to get started.”

McMillan had been linked with various different moves at other stages of his career and admitted that he thought he had missed the boat to play overseas.

It was an offer he couldn’t turned down, he explained.

“It was something that interested me straight away,” he continued.

“I’ve just turned 29, and I think at my age it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. For other players they might have experienced going over to England or Scotland when they were 18 or 19 or the likes, but for me that’s never happened.

“At 29, to have an opportunity to go and play in some really big stadiums against some really great teams is one I wanted to take”

McMillan spoke of how St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright was over watched the 3-0 League Cup final win over Shamrock Rovers in September and things just went from there.

The architect, who will put his career on hold for the foreseeable future, added that the decision to depart Stephen Kenny’s outfit was far from an easy one.

“The team is incredible,” he said. “It’s one that is very difficult to leave.

“It’s not just about the success we have had, but the people there as well. I know if I stayed the team would continue to be successful. It was a difficult decision, but my age was a factor.”

David McMillan celebrates scoring McMillan was a fan favourite at Oriel Park. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

And  when asked if Wright has approached him with any specific role, McMillan concluded:

“I’m sure if you asked him, he’d hope I score a lot of goals and play brilliantly.

“But look, I think he likes to play 4-4-2 and has a number of strikers already at the club. The first game on 20 January which is a Scottish Cup match, I’m hopeful that I can get game time there. Really as a player, it’s up to you then.

“If you get minutes on the pitch, you’ve got to go and deliver, play well and try and score goals. That’ll be my ambition and hopefully if I do that I’ll get plenty of opportunities.”

- You can listen to the full interview here.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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