David Healy targeting long stay with Rangers
Delighted David Healy yesterday finally made his boyhood dreams come true when he signed for Rangers — 17 years after missing out on the chance to join the Ibrox club.
And now that he has got his wish, Northern Ireland's record goalscorer wants to be in Glasgow for a while.
Healy’s move to Rangers had been originally set-up as a loan from Sunderland, but instead the Gers have taken over the remaining six months of his contract and he has cut all ties with the Black Cats.
He is now hoping to prove to current manager Walter Smith and assistant boss Ally McCoist — who is set to take over in the top job next season — that he is worth keeping beyond the summer.
“I had a trial with Rangers when I was 14, but I couldn’t sign as a I was a little bit too young,” said Healy, who instead joined Manchester United as a 16-year-old.
“It’s been well documented that I am a Rangers fan and so are all my family.
“My dad comes over on the boat to watch a lot of the games with his friends so it’s a boyhood dream for me. I’m absolutely thrilled to be here.”
Healy joins an ever-growing contingent of Northern Ireland internationals at Rangers, with Steven Davis and Kyle Lafferty regulars in the team and Andrew Little trying to force his way into the first-team plans.
“Steve Davis and I come from similar backgrounds in Northern Ireland, he’s a Rangers fan and his family also support the club,” he said.
“He has managed to realise the dream and I must admit that I was always a bit jealous of him and Kyle and others who joined the club.
“In the back of my mind I would always say ‘I wish that was me one day’ and thankfully my time has come and I’m delighted.
“Hopefully I can come in and do the job that the manager and the coaches want me to do.
“I want to impress them, the supporters and the board and hopefully stay a bit longer.”
Healy watched Rangers’ 2-1 Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final victory over Motherwell at Hampden Park yesterday and he will fancy facing Celtic in the final on Sunday, March 20.
More immediate in his thoughts, however, is Wednesday’s SPL clash with Hearts when he hopes to make his debut.
“It’s a big game and Hearts are a good side. I saw their 1-0 win over Rangers and they played well that day,” said Healy.
“I hope my debut will come at Ibrox. I’ve been to the stadium on many occasions as a fan, but never played there.
“To get on the hallowed turf would be very special for me.”
Smith said of Healy: “He's a goalscorer, he's someone who is an out and out goalscorer.
“He is someone who was keen to come to us and we are delighted to have him. We need that kind of thing in and around the box at the moment.”