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Ross County move worth the wait for focused midfielder Yan Dhanda

Yan Dhanda settles into his new surroundings at Ross County.
Yan Dhanda settles into his new surroundings at Ross County.

Yan Dhanda is thrilled to have finally joined Ross County – and he cannot wait to showcase his talents in the Scottish Premiership.

The 23-year-old former Liverpool academy and Swansea City player signed a three-year deal in Dingwall on Tuesday and will jet off to Verona, Italy, with his new team-mates this Saturday for a week-long training camp.

He explained there were moves afoot for him to join County in the winter window, which didn’t happen, but he’s delighted to have signed on the dotted line for manager Malky Mackay.

With the club finishing sixth in the Premiership last season, he is keen to help the Staggies soar even higher.

He said: “I’m buzzing to be here.

“I made the journey up on Monday with my dad – it took quite a while but I was eager to get here.

“I was actually surprised at how nice the city was. The training ground is lovely, the pitch is lovely, so I’m buzzing to get going and I’m happy to be up here, focused and ready for the season.

Midfielder Yan Dhanda is eager to get cracking at Ross County.
Midfielder Yan Dhanda is eager to get cracking at Ross County.

“I think people know I was close to coming to Ross County in January, but it fell through for a number of reasons.

“It was no fault of mine or Ross County’s, but for some reason it didn’t happen, and I was gutted.

“I’m here now, and hopefully we can push on from last year and hopefully get into Europe.”

Lifestyle switch not too dramatic

Having seen Inverness as an attractive base, Dhanda reckons there are some similarities to his recent Welsh location.

He said: “To be honest, I didn’t expect the city to be as nice and have as much stuff as there is.

“I’ve lived in Swansea for four years, and that’s similar to be honest.

“It’s quite a small city, so I expected it to be like that here, but there’s probably a bit more here than there is in Swansea.

“I feel like these are the places where I really enjoy my football.

Yan Dhanda addresses the media at Ross County.
Yan Dhanda addresses the media at Ross County.

“I can focus on football and go for nice dinners and coffees, stuff like that, so I think I’m really going to enjoy living up here.

“I’ve got a dog, so Swansea is good for dog walks and I’ve heard from everyone that Inverness is too.

“I’ll be travelling the Highlands to find the best places to walk my dog.”

Mackay was key reason for switch

And although there were other options for the midfielder, who spent five years at the Liverpool youth academy, the words of faith from Mackay were enough to persuade him to switch to the north of Scotland.

He added: “I had a few conversations with different clubs, but something inside of me was telling me the manager at Ross County is right for me at the moment – and I always trust my gut instinct.

“He believes in me and makes me feel wanted, and as a player all you want is to feel appreciated and wanted by someone.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay.
Ross County manager Malky Mackay.

“You can play your best football when you’re happy, so I really wanted to play for the manager here.

“He made me feel wanted, more so than anyone has ever made me feel. For me, that’s a big factor, and I’m desperate to repay him for that on the pitch.”

Confidence high and keen to impress

Dhanda speaks with confidence and he wants to show fans what his ability with the ball at his feet on the pitch.

He said: “I feel confident, I’m a confident player and someone who is really positive on the pitch.

“I’m always trying to go forward and make things happen, so I honestly just can’t wait to get going.”

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