Mar 31 2010 By Fraser Wilson
ON LOAN Partick Thistle full back Ryan Conroy says he's open to a summer move away from Celtic.
The 22-year-old left back insists he would rather spend another season in the first division than return to a reserve's life with the SPL giants.
Conroy made the loan switch from Parkhead to Partick in January as he went in search of first team football.
Tired of playing meaningless friendlies with Celtic - even though many of those bounce games were against top Premiership opposition - the Alexandria-born player was eager to experience the cut-and-thrust first division promotion race.
He failed to help the Jags realise their SPL ambitions this season. But the defender claims the buzz of playing competitive football in front of two or three thousand fans each week has improved him as a player.
Conroy, who still has a year left on his Celtic contract, hasn't spoken to Jags boss Ian McCall about his options for next season.
But he told the Glaswegian: "I do not want to go back to Celtic and be stuck playing reserve football. Not after playing for real in front of proper crowds every week.
"Celtic know how I feel and I just have to wait to see what happens in the summer.
"I'm at the age now where I need to be playing football every week and playing for a reason.
"There's still six games left with Thistle before the end of the season and hopefully I can impress people during those six games."
Conroy has made a steady contribution to the Thistle cause since joining in January and has made the left back slot his own under McCall.
Whether the Jags could afford to sign the player who captained Celtic to an SPL reserve league cup win last season is another matter.
But making a permanent move to the first division would hold no worries for the former Scotland under 21 international.
He said: "I would happily go back to the first division next season.
"To be honest I have been impressed by the standard and it has been interesting to see how tight the league is - there's still about five teams in the promotion race which is incredible.
"Ross County beat Hibs in the cup and Raith Rovers beat Aberdeen so there's not a huge gulf between the two divisions.
"I feel as if I have improved during my time at Thistle. The training has been good and just playing in front of fans every week means you are striving to do your best and improve."