Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘A fantastic addition for Aberdeen’ – James McGarry’s former Wellington Phoenix boss hails left-back

James McGarry's former Wellington Phoenix manager gives the lowdown on the left-back, who has signed a three-year contract with Aberdeen.

New Aberdeen signing James McGarry in action for Wellington Phoenix. Image: Shutterstock
New Aberdeen signing James McGarry in action for Wellington Phoenix. Image: Shutterstock

New Aberdeen signing James McGarry has been hailed as a “fantastic player and person” by his former Wellington Phoenix manager.

Ufuk Talay managed the left-back for two seasons at the new New Zealand club.

He brought McGarry back to Wellington after the defender spent time in the Dutch top-flight with Willem II.

Tulay reckons the Dons have struck gold in signing the 25-year-old, who he insists will “bomb up the wing” and deliver accurate, dangerous crosses.

He has tipped McGarry to make a major impact with the Dons both in the Scottish Premiership and European competition.

Aberdeen triggered McGarry’s buy-out clause to sign him from Australian A-League champions Central Coast Mariners.

A number of European clubs were interested in signing New Zealand international McGarry this summer.

But the Dons won the race and secured the full-back on a three-year deal for an undisclosed six-figure sum.

McGarry is Aberdeen boss Barry Robson’s ninth signing of the transfer window and arrived in the Granite City on Sunday night after jetting in from Australia.

Talay said: “James is a fantastic player and great for a manager who wants his full-backs bombing on.

James McGarry on the ball for Central Coast Mariners in the A-League Grand Final against Melbourne City. Image: Shutterstock.

“He’s an attacking left-back that will go forward and really get up and down that wing.

“James has an excellent left foot and a very good cross that will be extremely influential.

“You don’t get a lot of left full-backs these days that are very good – they are rare to find, but James is certainly one of them.

“James is also very strong and will be able to compete physically.

“He is a fantastic addition for Aberdeen.”

James McGarry in action for Central Coast Mariners. Image: Shutterstock.

‘Fantastic to have within your squad’

McGarry’s switch to Aberdeen was delayed because his wife was waiting to give birth.

The defender became a father to a baby boy last week and made the long-haul flight to Scotland at the weekend.

Talay said: “As a coach I try to sign good people first, as well as good players.

“James is definitely a great person and fantastic to have within your squad.

“He is very good with the group in the changing room, which is important in football I believe.

“James is also a great footballer.”

McGarry not fazed by expectation or pressure

McGarry came through the youth ranks at Wellington Phoenix before joining Dutch Eredivisie side Willem II.

He spent 18 months in Holland before Talay brought him back to Wellington in 2020.

Talay insists McGarry will not be fazed by expectations of success at Aberdeen.

James McGarry (of Central Coast Mariners) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal in the Isuzu Ute A-League semi-final against Adelaide United. Image: Shutterstock.

He said: “James is still young at 25.

“He’s coming to that age of 26 to 32 where players really step up.

“Aberdeen is a great opportunity for James as he is going to a fantastic club.

“They are a big club with expectations and I think he will live up to that.

“There are players who are not fazed by expectation, crowds or the size of a game.

“James is like that and will do his job to the best of his ability.

“I don’t think he is the finished product yet and James will know that as well.

“His ambition is to be successful and to ply his trade overseas.

“I think he will be fantastic for Aberdeen and worked hard to get himself in a position to get that move.”

McGarry’s ‘drive’ to secure success

McGarry’s high-level of performance for Wellington under Talay earned him a move to Newcastle Jets in July 2022.

Central Coast Mariners then signed him in February this year, and he immediately became their regular starting left-back.

McGarry played a key role in Central Coast securing the A-League title, starring in the Grand Final – a 6-1 defeat of Melbourne City.

He scored a stunning long-range goal in the away leg of Central Coast’s semi-final against Adelaide United.

Talay said: “James went over to Holland and didn’t have as much success over there as he wanted.

“I watched him play a couple of games with the New Zealand U23s before I signed him.

“The way we played, I like my full-backs bombing on and he definitely has those attributes.

“That’s why we brought him across.

“When he didn’t get what he wanted in Holland, he came back to Wellington to reignite his career.

“He returned to us and had a good season and was picked up by Newcastle.

“Then he went to Central Coast, where he won the title and now has this opportunity with Aberdeen.

“Some players can go to Europe, not get success and end up staying here when they come back.

“You can tell James is driven by the way he has gone back overseas again.”

McGarry wants to play with the best

McGarry admitted European competition was a major lure in signing for Aberdeen.

The Dons will face either BK Hacken of Sweden or FK Zalgiris Vilnuis of Lithuania in the Europa League play-off first round on Thursday, August 24.

BK Hacken are in pole position, having won the first leg 3-1 in Lithuania, with the return game in Gothenburg on Thursday.

Former Galatasaray and Bursaspor midfielder Talay, 47, believes McGarry will excel in Europe.

He said: “The reality is if you really want to challenge yourself and ply your trade with the best, unfortunately for us in New Zealand and Australia you have to fly to Europe for that.

“You want to be ambitious and play and train with the best.

“That is what players want and James is definitely showing that is what he wants as well.

“European football will be a great experience for him and I am sure he will do really well at that level.”

International career can be reignited

McGarry has been capped once by New Zealand, with a solitary appearance against Lithuania in 2019 while at Willem II.

Talay reckons moving to Aberdeen could reignite his international career – although he faces competition for the left-back role with Empoli defender Liberato Cacace, 22, who has 15 caps.

He said: “I think James can get more caps, but he has hefty competition for that left-back position in Cacace, who is currently in Serie A.

“That is healthy competition, but I think James is definitely up to it.

“Ultimately, though, that comes down to the New Zealand national manager.”