I'll give my all to be a major hit at Cardiff, insists NI ace Gavin Whyte
Northern Ireland star Gavin Whyte has described his move from Oxford United to Cardiff City as "life-changing" and declared he is determined to do all that it takes to make it a major success.
The £2m transfer from the League One outfit to the Championship side is the latest step up the ladder for the gifted 23-year-old winger, who 12 months ago had only just left Crusaders for a shot at English football.
Whyte had a brilliant first season with Oxford, leading to several clubs taking an interest and Cardiff sealing the deal ahead of their opening game of the new season at Wigan on Saturday.
The former Seaview favourite has signed a four-year contract with the Welsh club, who were relegated from the Premier League last term.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Whyte said: "I've only been in English football for one year but everything with me tends to happen quickly so I'm prepared for this challenge.
"Joining Cardiff is a life-changing move for me and I'm determined to do all I can to make sure it works out.
"What I aim to do now is get my head down, work hard and make any sacrifices needed to prove myself at this club and at this level.
"There's a lot of competition for places at Cardiff but I believe in my own ability and will give it everything to nail down a place in the team and help this great club to be where they need to be."
After enjoying great success at Crusaders, Whyte made 47 appearances for Oxford, scoring nine goals and creating many more.
He revelled in his time with the League One side but couldn't turn down the opportunity to switch to the Bluebirds, who are eager to return to the top flight straight away.
Whyte also had words of praise for his Belfast-based agent Stephen Whelan and the Murdock Sports Group who facilitated the transfer.
The winger stated: “The people who look after me have played a big part in the deal.
“Stephen (Whelan) and myself are really close and I couldn’t have done it without his help.
“The Murdock Sports Group have been brilliant with me since the first day I have been on board with them and I want to thank them for helping get this across the line.
“I also want to thank Oxford United. They gave me an opportunity to play across the water and I appreciate that.
“They have helped me get this move by playing me from the start of my time there and I have to thank the fans as well.
“They were brilliant with me which I’ll never forget.
“I hope they understand this is a big move for me and one I needed to make to move forward in my career. It is a massive step and it is something I couldn’t turn down.
“Now I’m relishing playing for the Cardiff fans because I’ve heard so many great things about them and how they get behind you.
“The Championship is going to be a difficult league but I’m really looking forward to making that step up and I’m glad the opportunity has come now.
“There will be big teams to play against in front of big crowds in big stadiums and I thrive on that.”
Savouring the chance to learn from experienced Cardiff boss Neil Warnock, who believes the Belfast man will be a favourite with the fans, Whyte’s move will also be welcomed at his old club Crusaders as they will land a significant sum from the transfer.
Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland senior women will begin their Uefa Euro 2021 qualifiers against Norway on August 30 at Seaview.
Manager Kenny Shiels will take charge of his first competitive match at the home of Crusaders and has a tough game to begin with against the World Cup quarter-finalists, who were knocked out by England.
The two sides met in the World Cup qualifying campaign with Norway coming out the victors on both occasions, 3-0 and 4-1.
Northern Ireland have been placed in Group C and will face Wales in Newport four days after their opening clash.
They finish 2019 with a trip to Norway on November 8 and welcome Wales on November 12 for the return fixture.
Group C is finished off with games against Belarus and the Faroe Islands in 2020.