Former Celtic midfielder Paddy McCourt has admitted he rejected interest from a number of other clubs before finally deciding to join Barnsley.
And the reason for that – the chance to team up with his former Rochdale teammate David Flitcroft.
McCourt played alongside Flitcroft at Spotland and enjoyed the support he received from his friend. The Northern Irishman has followed Flitcroft ‘s managerial career and was keen to team up with him at Oakwell after his options at Celtic ran out.
“I spoke to a few Championship clubs about playing for them.
“But to be honest the one that swung it for me playing here was knowing the manager,” admitted McCourt, who has impressed at Oakwell since penning a one-year deal with the club.
“I’ve known him [Flitcroft] since I was 17/18, I know what he’s about as a character and as a guy. And I really liked what he had to say.
“In the summer he said he wanted to see me back playing football.
“When I was a young lad at Rochdale he was very good with the young players.
“He worked a mere miracle to keep the team [Barnsley] in the division last year.
“And so far I’ve enjoyed it, it’s been important wherever I went this year to get playing regularly. I’ve got the chance to do that here.”
McCourt, who has also played for Derry City, has seemingly fitted seamlessly into the Reds lineup and has dazzled in spells on the right flank, so much so he has managed to keep fans’ favourite Jim O’Brien out of the team since his arrival.
And the 29-year-old playmaker, who netted a superb solo goal in the 3-2 home win over Middlesborough last month, hopes his performances will only get better.
“David contacted me in the summer about coming down and having a look at the club,” revealed McCourt.
“I decided to come down and have a look, had a great week with the lads and decided I liked it.
I just ended up signing and I’ve enjoyed it since.
“They’re a great bunch of lads and playing regular football is what it’s all about for me.”