KEVIN McDonald last night revealed his delight at signing a new two year contract with United.
Speaking after appearing for Danny Wilson’s side against Hibernians, the former Scotland U21 international confirmed he is now focused on trying to bring Championship football back to Bramall Lane. McDonald, citing loyalty and enjoyment as the major factors behind his decision, told The Star: “Yes, there were other offers but it always felt right to stay.
“The gaffer showed a lot of faith in me last season; that was at the forefront of my mind. I enjoy the way he likes to play his football and also, to be honest, the fans have been really nice. Basically, I’d probably made up my mind a while ago but sorting-out contracts always take time. I’m pleased to get it done and dusted now because it’s been a long summer.”
As expected, Hibernians posed United a much sterner test than Zejtun Corinthians.Indeed, they forged the first two opportunities of note with Adrian Pulis and Jean-Paul Farrugia both forcing smart saves from Mark Howard.
The 10 times Maltese Premier League champions, who finished second behind Valletta last term, included members of the island’s international squad in their starting 11 while former Fluminese midfielder Rodolfo Soares took part. United, resting Chris Porter and Ryan Flynn as a precautionary measure, also committed themselves fully to the final fixture of their week long tour.
Trialist Mikey Mampuya again produced some exciting touches with Wilson revealing beforehand that he will travel back to England with the rest of the squad but it was Stephen Quinn and Neill Collins who went closest for the tourists during a goalless first half. Howard was called upon again as Hibernians pressed during the early stages of the second with Jackson Lima’s long-range attempt nearly sneaking past the foot of the post but John Cofie and Matthew Harriott responded.
McDonald, who caught the eye with a surging run before being withdrawn after an hour, added: “There are a lot of really good players in my position here and so I know I’m going to have to keep on working hard.
“But, like I say, I really enjoy being here so it would have been stupid to go somewhere else.”
United: Howard, Mampuya (Harriott 60), Maguire, Collins, Westlake, Chappell (McAllister 60), Montgomery (Ironside 60), McDonald (Philliskirk 60), Quinn (Doyle 60), Cofie (Tonne 76), Cresswell (Williams 60).
Hibernians (Starting XI): Muscat, Camilleri, Soares, Vandelannoite, Pulis, Kristensen, Caruana, Herrera, Dias, Farrugia, Lima.