Connolly becomes a Bairn as McKinnon gets his man

Falkirk third signing for the new season, Aidan Connolly. (Picture: Michael Gillen)
Falkirk third signing for the new season, Aidan Connolly. (Picture: Michael Gillen)

Ray McKinnon hailed the signing of Aidan Connolly, believing the winger can be the one to make the difference, as Falkirk target an immediate return to the Scottish Championship.

The 23-year-old became the Falkirk boss’ third signing of the summer yesterday (Wednesday) after the arrivals of midfielder Michael Tidser and defender Gregor Buchanan from Greenock Morton.

McKinnon insisted the trio shows the Bairns mean business and he is delighted to sign Connolly, who was “magnificent” under him at Brechin City and Raith Rovers.

McKinnon said: “I know all about his qualities, he’s a great age, he’ll be fantastic for us and he’s just the sort of player we are looking for. He’s really talented and really skilful, so I’m happy with that.

“He can make the difference in key moments in games, absolutely. He can play up front, left, right, or number – 10 he has got so much ability.”

Connolly revealed that working with McKinnon again was a major factor behind signing for Falkirk.

Connolly helped Raith Rovers to the Scottish Championships play-offs in 2016 and he believes his new boss can bring out the best in him again.

He said: “It’s good because I’ve worked with the gaffer before. I was at Raith in the Championship and we did well and were successful. It’s a big thing, I know what he is like.

“He spoke to me on the phone and he gave me confidence, made me feel good about myself and I’m looking forward to the new season.

“Falkirk’s a massive club and not where it should be, so I want to help take the club back up to where it should.”

Connolly admits he may have to win some fans over after signing from rivals Dunfermline.

He said: “I’m going to get slaughtered ain’t I? I was at Dunfermline but I’m ready to go this season and I’m looking forward to playing. We’re expected to win straight away, we’re one of the bigger clubs in the league.

“Hopefully we can start winning straight away and take them straight back up.”