Aiden McGeady turned down Celtic return as winger admits ‘regret’ over Ronny Deila snub

Aiden McGeady had the chance of a Celtic return but turned it down.

The winger was offered another spell at Parkhead during Ronny Deila’s time in charge of the club, but opted out due to the team and style of play at the time.

However, the Republic of Ireland international now regrets his decision, admitting he would have loved to play for Celtic again but knows the door is now closed for his in Glasgow’s East End.

Speaking during a BBC Sportsound interview, McGeady explained that he was approached by the Hoops during his time at Everton, but was keen to stay put and prove himself south of the border instead.

After being asked if he had even been asked, or considered a Celtic return, the 36-year-old was honest about his previous decisions.

He said: “Yeah I did (have a chance to go back).

“It was when I was at Everton that I had the chance to go back but at the time I was probably getting fed things from the manager that I was eventually going to play.

“Plus, I did think if I go back now – I was still quite young, about 28 at the time – that is kind of me turning my back on England.

“Admitting I’ve tried it but I’ve not been good enough.

“The circumstances just weren’t right.

“ Ronny Deila was the manager, I was looking at the team and looking the way they were playing and the results they were getting and I was like not sure I want to go back just yet.

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“But I would have loved to have gone back at another time when it was right for everybody but that opportunity never came up again.”

When asked if he regretted his decisions, he added: “I regret it in the fact that I will never play for Celtic again, yeah.

“But at the time, no. I didn’t regret it at the time.

“Looking back now, the success that Celtic have had the last six, seven years it would have been great to go back.

“I’d have loved to have played for Celtic again at some point but I think that is done now.”

During the interview, the winger also spoke about his decision to represent the Republic of Ireland instead of Scotland – something he has received a lot of backlash for.

When asked if he experienced any flack for his choice, the ex-Celtic star did not hold back.

“Did I receive a lot of flack for that? Come on,” he said.

“Going to every away game in Scotland and being booed every time I touched the ball, did that not happen?

“There are plenty of players who have played for other teams, plenty of Scottish players who have played for other teams.

“Scott Arfield played for Canada, Brian McClean chose Northern Ireland, did they get the same abuse as me? No. So why did I get that abuse?

“I made the decision when I was 14, it’s not like I made the decision when I was 18.

“Scotland has those rule where you couldn’t play for your school team. If you didn’t play for your school team, you couldn’t play for the schoolboys which was fine but Ireland didn’t have that.

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“Pat Bonner knew my dad, knew my grandparents and he asked if I wanted to play for Ireland from under 14s/15s.

“So then I just played for Ireland and that was it.

“Small-minded individuals isn’t it, that’s all it is.

“The other players I mentioned, why did they not get the same abuse that I got?

“Because I played for Celtic, because I played for Ireland?

“I was booed everywhere I went, they wanted me to fail.” McGeady added.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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