Rangers clinch signing of Dean Shiels

Dean Shiels says coming from a Rangers-supporting background helped persuade him to sign a four-year contract with the new club.

The 27-year-old Northern Ireland international moves to Ibrox following an excellent season with Kilmarnock.

“I’m from a Rangers community in Northern Ireland,” Shiels said about dropping from the Scottish Premier League to the Third Division newcomers.

“I just wanted to play for Rangers and I wanted to play for the manager.”

Shiels helped Kilmarnock win the Scottish Communities League Cup and made the four-man short-list for Scotland’s player of the year after arriving from Doncaster Rovers.

He had been offered a new contract by his father, who manages the Ayrshire side, but had sought his advice about joining Rangers and does not believe he is taking a step down in his career.

“Once I knew they were interested, it was a decision that I was happy to make,” he told the club website.

“There has been a big change in personnel and the manager is trying to build a new squad and get new faces in.

“I’m just delighted to be here. I know we are in the Third Division, but hopefully not for long.

“No matter what division Rangers are in, they want to win it. So this year will be no different to any other year in that regard.”

Northern Ireland internationals Steven Davis and Kyle Lafferty found themselves new clubs instead of switching from the new Rangers after the old one headed for liquidation.

However, Shiels, who had also been linked with Hibernian, one of his former clubs, joins compatriot Andy Little in Ally McCoist’s squad.

“I have a lot of friends who are season ticket holders who come over on the boat every week and I have great affection for the club,” said the new signing.

“So I’m sure a lot of friends and family will be happy for me and hopefully I can keep the Northern Ireland connection going.

“I obviously know Andy Little quite well and I’m delighted that he has signed on as well as he is a great prospect.”

Meanwhile, club owners Sevco Scotland Limited is changing its name to The Rangers Football Club Limited.

An extraordinary general meeting of ‘oldco’ shareholders took place at Ibrox, where procedures were approved to enable the name change.

Charles Green’s Sevco consortium completed the purchase of the business and assets of Rangers in June after the club was consigned to liquidation following failure to secure a Company Voluntary Arrangement in order to exit administration.

Rangers were granted conditional Scottish Football Association membership on Friday night, which will be completed when the formal transfer of ‘oldco’ Rangers’ Scottish Premier League share to Dundee takes place later this week.