New Caley Thistle signing Kevin McNaughton has thanked former Aberdeen team-mate Ryan Esson for instigating his move to Inverness.
McNaughton this week signed a one-year contract with Richie Foran’s side, having played several games as a trialist for the Highlanders after his departure from newly-promoted English Championship side Wigan.
The 33-year-old will reunite with goalkeeper Esson at Caledonian Stadium, with the pair coming through the Dons’ youth ranks together prior to McNaughton’s move to Cardiff City in 2006.
McNaughton, who has four Scotland caps, revealed it was player-goalkeeping coach Esson who sounded him out about manager Foran’s interest.
He said: “Ryan told me the manager was quite keen to get me here for a week. I’ve been staying with him over the last week – which has been fun.
“I’ve got three kids and usually it’s a madhouse, so I’ve felt right at home when I moved in with Ryan, it’s the same sort of vibe.
“Ryan’s a good guy, he’s a character. He actually asked me last season what I was doing but I ended up going to Wigan.
“It’s just one of those things that’s kind of worked out, so hopefully it works out on the park as well.”
Dundee-born McNaughton says it was always his intention to return to Scotland after leaving Wigan but looks back fondly on his decade in England, adding: “The main ambition was to get promoted when I first went down to Cardiff. It probably took longer than we’d hoped for but we got there in the end.
“I didn’t play a lot of games, maybe five or six in the Premier League, but it was brilliant. It was what I’d hoped to achieve and I ended up doing it.
“I got a couple of bonuses, reaching a couple of cup finals with Cardiff as well. That again was an unbelievable experience and being part of the Wigan squad that got promoted last season was a good experience as well.
“I was keen to be a bit closer to family, though. The last few years I got a bit lucky, I was playing at Bolton and Wigan which meant I didn’t need to uproot.
“But I made the decision that if I was going to move it was going to be back to Scotland. Hopefully, I’ll get my family settled.”