RYAN CHRISTIE has revealed it was “a massive decision” to quit Celtic – especially after the early impact of new boss Ange Postecoglou.
The 26-year-old midfielder was due to come out of contract at the turn of the year when he could have walked away from Parkhead as a free agent.
Christie ended the guessing game saga yesterday when he agreed a four-year contract at Championship outfit Bournemouth while the Hoops will pick up around £1million for the playmaker’s departure.
The Scotland international, who is currently in Copenhagen and could get the nod to play against Denmark this evening in the first of a World Cup qualifying triple-header, may have expected to leave last year, but the club made the decision to concentrate on the 10-in-a-row quest which backfired spectacularly.
BOURNEMOUTH BECKONS…Ryan Christie sends a selfie message to his new club.
It was a dreadful campaign for the Hoops as their four-year domestic domination – winning a phenomenal quadruple treble – came off the rails in inexplicable fashion. The sensational nosedive in fortunes brought the inevitable enforced changes and boss Neil Lennon made way in February with John Kennedy taking charge for the remaining 10 games as the season limped to a sad conclusion.
However, Greek-Australian Postecoglou has swept in with the force of a whirlwind and, despite some setbacks, has reinvigorated the club.
Christie, though, has chosen to take his skills elsewhere and the player who cost £500,000 from Inverness Caley Thistle in the summer of 2015 said: “It was a massive decision, especially with the new manager coming in at Celtic and the club starting really well.
“Everything was very positive after a frustrating season last year. So, it was about sitting down and weighing up my options, but I came to the decision that I was desperate to try this challenge and it’s the perfect time for me to try it.
“I’ve had six great and successful years at Celtic and, hopefully, that can help me even more in coming down and doing really well for Bournemouth.
“I’m absolutely buzzing, I’m absolutely desperate to get started now. I’m really excited for the challenge ahead, a new challenge for me, one I’ve always wanted to be part of.”
ON THE MOVE…Ryan Christie hurtles down the left wing in the 6-0 win over Dundee.
Christie continued: “Throughout my whole career, I’ve always wanted to try my hand down in England and I’m really excited to join a team who’s going for promotion, going out to win games and achieve success.
“I’m used to that at Celtic, so, hopefully, I can help bring that to Bournemouth.
“As soon as I heard the club were an option, I managed to speak to Scott Parker and with the way he spoke, he’s a big encouragement in terms of the brand of football and the way his teams play.
“From watching what he did with Fulham and then seeing him come to Bournemouth, I think I’m taking a big step in the right direction.
“The whole feeling of it was right and even though I did have a couple of other options this was the one that I was just desperate to get over the line.”
UP IN THE AIR…Ryan Christie challenges a Czech Republic opponent in Scotland’s opening 2-0 loss in the Euros at Hampden in June.
Christie, speaking to the club website, added: “Moving to England will be tough, but the one positive in this stage of my career is with what I’ve achieved so far. I’ve had the opportunity before in my younger days to head down and give England a try, but I’ve now got much more confidence in myself in coming and feeling ready for it.
“It’ll be hectic for sure, but I’m more than used to that. With Celtic over the last few years, the schedule’s been mental when playing in Europe, so I’m more than used to that.
“I’m sure that first game for Bournemouth will roll round in no time. Hopefully, it will be off the back of a successful international break – I’ll be ready to go.”
The Scots face Moldova at Hampden on Saturday night before completing the quickfire trio in Austria on Tuesday.
And then Christie can get on with his new club career when Bournemouth take on Barnsley at the Vitality Stadium a week on Saturday.