Ross County winger Simon Power aims to make a rapid impact in Scottish football following his loan move from Norwich City.
Power joined on a season-long deal from the Premier League club last week and joined the Dingwall men on their Dutch training camp, although his registration was not processed in time for him to feature in friendlies against Groningen and GFA Deventer City.
Staggies co-manager Stuart Kettlewell has highlighted Power’s swift pace as a key asset for the Dingwall men in their step up to the Premiership this season, and the Irishman revealed he was faced with a tough decision between football and athletics during his teenage years.
Power said: “Pace is probably my main thing. I was always the fast kid growing up. I used to compete at athletics when I was younger and I was an all-Ireland sprint champion when I was in school. I could have definitely stuck to athletics.
“When I was about 13 I moved to a bigger club in Ireland and was training more often. I just couldn’t do both.
“I decided to give up athletics and I think it was probably the right decision, given where I am now.
“I just want to go out there in Scotland’s Premiership and show what I can do.”
Power caught the eye for Republic of Ireland’s under-21s at the Toulon tournament in France earlier this summer, which he credits as an inspirational experience against some of the best prospects in the world.
The 21-year-old added: “It was a class experience. Going into the groups we weren’t favourites or even fancied to progress.
“We had Mexico, China and Bahrain, but we got off to a flyer beating China 4-1 and then drew with Mexico who had finished second in the tournament last year. Then we beat Bahrain and ended up topping the group.
— Simon Power (@simonpower9) July 4, 2019
“We got to the semi-finals and came up against Brazil and they were just world class, to be honest.
“That was an unbelievable experience. Some of their players are worth millions and millions of pounds, with some playing Serie A and Bundesliga or for the top teams in Brazil. The standard was the highest you could imagine at under-21 level.
“Those Brazil and Mexico teams will be going to the Olympics next year and among the favourites.”
Power has reportedly attracted interest from some of Europe’s leading clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and Lyon, however he remains level-headed, adding: “It was a bit of a shock to me when I heard. It was reported all over the place.
“It’s a good feeling, in fairness, having those four top teams linked to myself. Norwich never spoke to me about it. It was just reports, no offers to my knowledge.
“I’m contracted for the next two years at Norwich, so it isn’t really an issue.”