FORMER Oldham Athletic striker Adam Rooney has explained why he quit Scottish Premier League club Aberdeen for non-league Salford City, one of the summer’s most intriguing transfers.
There was surprise that the 30-year-old preferred matches against the likes of Havant and Waterlooville and Boreham Wood to glamour games against Celtic and Rangers.
But Rooney explained that it was being part of Salford’s dramatic climb up the football pyramid that lured him to the newly-named and completely rebuilt Peninsula Stadium.
Rooney, capped nine times by Republic of Ireland at U21 level, said: “When Salford got in touch and, bearing in mind who was involved – Manchester United’s Class of 1992 players Gary and Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are co-owners – I wanted to find out more.
“I was keen to explore their ambitions for the club which intrigued me. And their drive and determination played a massive part to play in me coming here.
“Hopefully when I leave, the club will be in an even better position than where it is today.”
Rooney added the Class of 92 players play a hands-on role in the running of the club.
He said: “Gary Neville watched training on my second day at the club and was our game at Sutton United.
“Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs were at the opening home game against Leyton Orient but, while keeping an eye on what is happening, prefer to stay in the background.”
Rooney, who career has included spells at Stoke City, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Birmingham City, and Latics, added the decision to leave Aberdeen was influenced by his failure to hold down a regular first-team place in the second half of the 2017/18 season.
He said: “I had been the main man for four years, but had not played as much as I would have liked in the second half of last season.
“I had a great four-and-a-half years at Aberdeen where they had great fans and I was a favourite with them.
“It is a great city but I felt at the end of last season the time was right to move on as I didn’t want another season like the one that ended anonymously.
“I wanted to leave with the fans having good memories of me and I can go back in the future as a fan and be remembered for the right reasons.”
Rooney added being part of the Salford’s adventure more than compensated for not playing against Celtic and Rangers.
He continued: “It is not as though I have not played against those clubs, just as I turned out for Birmingham City in the Europa League.
“I have done those things, but now the time is to try and go as far as I can with Salford in the next three years.”