Jan 14 2010 By Fraser Wilson
CELTIC winger Ryan Conroy has revealed how he snubbed a loan switch in the SPL to agree a four-month stint in the first division at Partick Thistle.
As expected, the 22-year-old finalised a short term deal with the Jags on Thursday and goes straight into the squad for Saturday's trip to Raith Rovers.
Jags boss Ian McCall worked his magic to beat off competition from other clubs looking to take the left-sided player on loan from Parkhead.
Conroy, who was captain of Celtic's second string, has also passed up the opportunity of regular reserve outings against the English Premier League's big guns to star at Firhill.
But, speaking exclusively to the Glaswegian, he said he relishes the experience of the first division promotion battle far more than meaningless friendlies.
Conroy said: "I'm delighted with this loan deal and can't wait to go out and get playing.
"There were a few options for me this month, a couple of SPL clubs had shown an interest and there were a couple of things in the first division too but there was nothing as solid as this move to Thistle.
"Partick are going for promotion and play football the way I like to play it so my mind was made up.
"Ian McCall knows where he wants to take the club and I was impressed with his vision. I just hope I can fit into the team and do a job."
Conroy, a Scotland youth internationalist alongside fellow Jags Jamie Adams, Bryan Hodge and Paddy Boyle, is also hoping to impress Celtic boss Tony Mowbray during his stay at Firhill.
He said: "The manager at Celtic has told me to go and make a name for myself. He says my career is not finished at Celtic and that I need first team football.
"The SPL reserve league obviously got scrapped at the end of last season so it's been hard to show people what I can do.
"We have been playing regular friendlies against the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham which has been okay but you are playing in huge empty stadiums and it's not the same as competitive football.
"That's why I would much rather be playing for real in the first division."