New Celtic recruit Pat McCourt has claimed he rejected the advances of “a few clubs” to join his boyhood idols.
The Hoops last night completed the signing of the winger from Derry City for an undisclosed fee.
The 24-year-old Northern Ireland international has agreed a three-year deal with the Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions and will join up with Gordon Strachan’s squad for the start of pre-season training.
McCourt attracted the attention of top English clubs as a youngster at Rochdale but a combination of injury and loss of form saw him fail to fulfil his potential.
He has spent the last two years with his local club and is delighted to join his boyhood idols.
“I’m thrilled and it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet to be honest,” he told the club’s website, celticfc.net.
“This is a dream come true for me. There was interest from a few clubs but as soon as I found out that Celtic were in for me, my mind was made up.
“I have always been a Celtic supporter and there was only one choice to make. It’s an honour to join one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours, but I’m just delighted to get everything sorted out. To sign for this club is a dream and when I get back home tonight, it might all finally sink in. It’s just been an incredible day.”
The versatile winger, who can play on either side, added: “I’m joining one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“Celtic have won the SPL title three times in a row and compete in the Champions League every season. What more could you ask for?
“My first target is to get a good pre-season under my belt and then take it from there. The quality in the Celtic squad is unbelievable but I’ll be trying to push my way into the manager’s plans as soon as possible.
“I can’t wait to get started.”