Former Motherwell youngster Johnston agrees move to Austrian side

The teenager was named SFWA young player of the season in the Premiership after shining at Fir Park in the second half of the campaign.

Former Motherwell youngster Max Johnston seals four-year deal at Austrian side Sturm Graz SNS Group

Former Motherwell youngster Max Johnston has joined Austrian Bundesliga side Sturm Graz on a four-year deal.

The 19-year-old spent the first half of last season on loan at Cove Rangers in the Scottish Championship before returning to Fir Park on a red-hot streak of form that saw him claim the top flight’s SWFA young player of the season award.

However, the Scotland under-21 cap opted to leave the Steelmen in search of a challenge abroad and is now guaranteed to be playing European group stage football with Graz – who are four matches away from a place in the Champions League.

Johnston has signed a four-year deal at the club.

“I had great conversations with coach Christian Ilzer and I’m absolutely convinced that I’m in the right place here,” he told the club’s website.

“I’m happy to be here in Graz and to be able to play in the strong Austrian league and an international group stage.”

Graz, who finished runners-up to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria last year, face PSV Eindhoven in the third qualifying round of Europe’s premier club competition.

They will enter the Europa League group stages should they fail to progress from that stage, but a win over the Dutch outfit will see them reach the play-off round – where Rangers are among the potential opponents.

Graz sporting director Andreas Schicker said: “We are proud and happy that a top talent like Max Johnston has decided to join SK Sturm. 

“Max has already proven in Scotland what great qualities he has. With his expansive style of play, he gives us another component in the full-back position and will thus positively fuel the competition. 

“We look forward to him and are convinced that he will bring a lot of joy to the fans in Graz.”

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