Republic of Ireland under-21 international Sean McGinty says the passion of Sheffield United’s supporters convinced him to move to Bramall Lane this summer.
The defender, released by Manchester United at the end of last term, is bidding to impress Blades boss David Weir in pre-season, having recently penned a two-year deal with the League One club.
It was just over two years ago McGinty lined up against the Blades in the FA Youth Cup final. He featured in both legs as the Red Devils triumphed 6-3 on aggregate.
Nearly 30,000 fans packed into Bramall Lane for the first leg of the tie which finished 2-2. Jordan Slew and Callum McFadzean registered while academy starlets such as George Long, Harry Maguire, Elliott Whitehouse and Joe Ironside also featured.
McGinty has told The Star he is encouraged by United’s fan base and admitted they were a big factor behind his decision to join the South Yorkshire club.
“I was involved in the FA Youth Cup games and I remember Sheffield United got one of their biggest crowds of the season in the first leg,” said the 19-year-old. “I felt the passion from the fans at Bramall Lane that night and the love that they give to the players. The noise was unbelievable.
“It was very daunting walking out of the tunnel as an opposition player. As you walk out, you’ve got 29,000 people shouting at you and most of them are against you.
“I’ve come here because I know the fans are passionate and it is a massive club. This club deserves to have a lot of success this season.”
McGinty, who qualifies for Ireland through his grandad, who was born in County Mayo, learned of United’s interest in him at the beginning of June.
“I played for Ireland’s Under-21s in a friendly game against Denmark and I came back from that and found out about United’s interest and I jumped at the chance,” he said. “It is a massive club and I was over the moon that they have given me the opportunity to play for arguably the biggest team in the league.
“There was interest from a few clubs but when United came in for me, I felt it was a massive club and the big aim is to get them back to where they belong and I feel that’s the Premier League.
“I have come here to try and help us get promoted. It may happen next season, it may not. I believe if all the team put a 100 per cent in we can definitely do that.”