Former Portsmouth and Rangers man turns down Europa League football to make EFL return

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Ross McCrorie has turned down Europa League football to instead return to the EFL.

The former Pompey loanee completed a move to Bristol City on Tuesday – joining from Aberdeen for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old penned a three-year deal at Ashton Gate, bringing an end to his three-year stay with the Scottish Premiership outfit.

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The versatile defender, who can now operate at centre-back as well as his more natural right-back position, played a key role in the Dons’ third-placed finish in Scotland’s top flight last season.

This saw Barry Robson’s men qualify for a play-off spot ahead of next term’s Europa League. However, they will be without former vice-captain McCrorie. The ex-Rangers man has instead viewed the Championship as his next career challenge.

It represents his first return to English football following his loan with Pompey during the 2019-20 season. This saw McCrorie appear 23 times for the Blues in the Covid-19 affected campaign, with Kenny Jackett’s men eventually falling short in the play-offs.

As he marks his EFL comeback, he has eyed a spot in the Premier League as his latest ambition.

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Upon his arrival at Bristol City, he told the official club website: ‘It’s a new challenge for me. I've been up in Scotland for a while, I felt as if I knew the league inside and out and I needed something to take me out of my comfort zone.

Ross McCrorie.Ross McCrorie.
Ross McCrorie.

‘They showed me the plans, they showed me a lot of ambition for the club and as you can see with the facilities, it’s got everything for the club to progress to the Premier League.

‘I want to come here and make an impact, help the boys as much as I can and get to know them - I want to help a progressive club get to a new level.

‘There is ambition at the club to progress, and, for myself, it’s a new challenge and I think it's a good fit. Everything's cut out for the club to push up the table and towards the play-offs and promotion.

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‘The ambition, the facilities, the stadium - everything is there for the club to go again, to push up to the play-offs and promotion. It’s a big factor in me coming down.

‘I didn't want to come down here to a mediocre team, I feel coming to the club that this is not mediocre and everything is to the highest level.’