McMenamin hopeful move to Saints will enhance international chances

The 27-year-old is excited to test himself at the higher level after shining in Northern Ireland.

McMenamin hopeful move to St Mirren will enhance international chances SNS Group

New St Mirren player Conor McMenamin is hoping a move to the Scottish Premiership will help his international chances after Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill told him to grab the opportunity with both hands.

The 27-year-old former Glentoran man has joined up with Stephen Robinson’s men as they look build upon their top 6 finish of last season.

McMenamin has already caught the eye of the international manager and has earned six caps already including their recent Nations League ties.

And O’Neill, who played for a string of clubs in Scotland most notably Hibernian, where he made over 100 appearances, and Dundee United, told the midfielder that he will be better for the move from Northern Irish football where he has played all his career.

He is also in no doubt that he will be moving to higher standard of football in the Scottish Premiership.

McMenamin said: “It’s a big thing coming here and hopefully it can help me get me even more caps for Northern Ireland.

“Hopefully this move can keep me in the setup for the long haul. I spoke with the manager Michael O’Neill a few weeks ago and he told me take the chance if I can, to go and better myself and play in a better league and see how I cope.

“He was delighted when I told him I’d signed, he told me that playing at a higher level will benefit him as the national team manager as well.

“We’re all really close-nit when we go away for Northern Ireland and the boys were all brilliant, and they all play for top clubs so I really wanted to experience that for myself, to go away and test myself against better players, in a better league, so I’m really excited.

“I’m just going play my own game and be myself, the manager already knows me and knows my strengths and that’s why he’s brought me here so I’ll not change that.”

Stephen Robinson was delighted to capture the 27-year-old who he rates as arguable the best player in the NIFL for the last two or three seasons.

“It’s been a protracted negotiation but I have to pay a lot of credit to Conor himself and his agent Brian Adair and Keith Gillespie.

“They made the deal work by taking a little bit less and sacrificing their agency fee and less wages than initially agreed. That shows a real desire to come to St Mirren.

“We’re excited to have him. He’s arguably been the best player in the NIFL for two or three seasons now and was highly sought after. We’ve worked very hard for him and credit to the agents and the player. It’s really refreshing to see an attitude where money wasn’t everything to make the deal work and honesty from an agent.

“We’ve signed a very good footballer that can play in numerous positions. He can play right through the middle, as a wing-back and in behind the striker, so we’ve got a really versatile player who can score goals and create chances.”

He added: “In certain games last year, we lacked a wee bit of brilliance where someone can score out of nothing. We’re hopeful he’s the little spark you need sometimes in games like that.”

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