THE prospect of playing in Europe for Rangers was another reason behind Scott Arfield signing a four year deal with the club today.
Arfield has previously had a taste of continental competition with Falkirk, and despite crashing out after just one tie, it left him hungry for more.
Of course, Burnley, the club he has departed, also qualified for the Europa League, and he reckons it’s written in the stars for the Gers to face the Clarets this season.
“I think it’s inevitable we are going to draw them, isn’t it?” smiled Arfield. “So I am looking forward to that. I managed to play in the first round when I was at Falkirk. We got to the Scottish Cup Final and went into it the next year, so the getting the taste for it was invaluable for me to want to go back there again.
“We managed to get there with Burnley and it was completely out the odds that we got there. Thankfully I’m coming up here to a club that the boys have put in the hard work and have managed to consolidate a Europa place, but I don’t think we should be happy just going out in the qualifiers, we need to look forward and see where this takes us.”
Arfield’s spell at Burnley was a massive success, and he reflected on what, for him, was a massively enjoyable time for him.
He continued: “I think over the five years that I’ve been there, it’s been my most successful, my happiest probably on a football pitch. The three years in the Premier League, two in the Championship, one coming second, one winning it and promoted, and then the three seasons in the Premier League.
“Even the relegation helps you because you get a taste for that league against those players at those stadiums. You can only benefit from them as a player and the experiences I have had through those five years, especially at a club like Burnley, it’s fantastic what I can go back at, take the experiences and take it into here now.
“I’ve been down in England for so long – I left when I was 21 and now I’m back at 29, and I feel in those eight years I have experienced so much as a man, as a player, and I feel as if I am coming back a far better player than I was when I left, both on and off the pitch.
“The experiences I’ve had down south have been fantastic for me, and the mental aspect of the game I feel as if I have developed incredibly, and that is what I am looking to do here.
“The expectation of the crowd is massive, but I feel as if I can handle that expectation and I want to take responsibility and take the club forward.
“It’s been a long way coming, but I am extremely excited for the times ahead. I firmly believe we are going to be so successful in the years going forward.”
Arfield now can’t wait to get started, and he added: “I’m buzzing, absolutely buzzing. The season only finished yesterday but I’ve been out with a calf injury for so long and I’ve been chomping at the bit. I’ve only managed to train about two weeks or three weeks and the games I was going to be involved in, and the deal was overtaking them, so I couldn’t be involved in the last three games. So now I’m chomping at the bit and I genuinely believe and I genuinely think that we are going to be so successful here. It’s exciting times.”