SLIGO ROVERS new centre-back, Evan McMillan, has explained that the attraction of full-time professional football was a key factor in his decision to join the Bit O'Red.
The highly rated 26-year-old defender was linked with several clubs in Ireland and the UK, including Scottish Premier League outift, Hibs, but opted to join the Airtricity League champions.
A qualified accountant, the former UCD, St. Pat's and Bohs defender felt the time was right to try his luck at professional football and had a number of options to consider.
"Hibs was one of the clubs who showed an interest but things just didn't work out", he explained.
"I also had an opportunity to talk to a number of clubs in England but there was nothing guaranteed and I didn't really want to put myself out on a limb.
"What impressed me about Sligo was that they made it clear from when I first spoke to them that they really wanted to sign me. That's important when it comes to making a decision about your future"
McMillan met Rovers manager Ian Baraclough and club Chairman, Dermot Kelly, before putting pen to paper and was won over by the club's ambition.
"It's clear Rovers have a very exciting project in terms of how they want to develop the club", said McMillan.
"Everything about the club is first class. In fact, I would say their set-up is on a par with Hibs"
With the defence of their League title a major priority and Champions' League football on the horizon, it promises to be a very exciting season at the Showgrounds and McMillan is looking forward to the challenge.
"I was very impressed with the way Rovers played last year and there's no reason why they can't be up there challenging for honours again", he says.
"No team ever finds it easy to retain a League title but that will be our aim and we'll also be looking to do something special in Europe by progressing as far as we can.
"Those are big challenges but they are exciting and I'm looking forward to being part of it all"
McMillan comes in to replace Jason McGuinness who was such an inspirational personality at the Showgrounds for the past two seasons.
"Jason is an excellent player but I don't see myself as just coming in to fill in that gap. I'm a slightly different sort of player. I play my own game and I think my style of fotball will suit Rovers", he insists.
Dublin-born McMillan will be experiencing full-time professional football for the first time in his career but has no reservations about his decision to go down that route.
"It's something I've always wanted to do and at this moment in time Sligo is the right move for me. I was willing to move to the UK if things had worked out there so I've no problem going to live in Sligo. I'm sure I'll settle in fine"