Leon McCann is delighted to have signed a long-term deal with Falkirk and return to full-time football.

The East Kilbride man departed Airdrie after his contract expired and he had a host of clubs vying for his signature.

Various Championship clubs made offers to McCann and Ross County were strongly interested before ex-boss John Hughes left.

The 21-year-old reveals that he turned down offers with other clubs due to Falkirk’s ambition and he can’t wait to get started with the League One side.

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“I’m buzzing to get it completed,” said McCann. “As soon as the season finished, Falkirk were the first club to pursue me to try and get me to sign.

“They made it known how much they wanted me and how much they valued me.

"That made it a lot easier for me to say yes despite the fact that I’ve stated previously that I wanted to play in a higher division.

New Falkirk boss Paul Sheerin

“Falkirk are a massive club that have the ambition and drive to get out of the league which is a huge reason why I signed.”

McCann’s three-year contract is an indication of how strongly the Bairns value the left-back.

It’s extremely rare for lower league clubs to offer long-term contracts but McCann admits it was a huge motivation behind his reason to pick Falkirk.

He added: “I was taken aback by how long they offered me because a three-year deal is absolutely massive.

“It shows how much that wanted me to sign for the club as it’s not the type of deal that gets offered to many players.

“Falkirk appealed straight away because you want to feel like you mean something to the club.

Sheerin offered McCann a three-year deal

“They put so much effort into trying to get me on board and it made my decision pretty straight forward.

“It’s a club that is in the wrong league and hopefully it’s just a matter of time until we start progressing back up the leagues.

“I hope that it’s during the next three seasons and I’d love to win the league and get promoted.”

Airdrie deploy a hybrid structure which is a mix between part-time and full-time players but McCann is relishing a return to full-time football which he loved during his time at Hamilton Accies.

McCann added: “I was on a full-time contract at Airdrie but we still trained as part of their hybrid system on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

McCann is relishing the return to full-time football

“It’s back to proper full-time now, training every morning and that’s a huge factor in my decision - I love that environment.

“The manager phoned me when I signed and he was very complimentary about me.

"He’d watched me a few times last season and he was delighted that I’d joined the club.

“He wants to set high standards to get the club out of League One and he wants to play very attacking forward. He seems like a great guy and I can’t wait to get started.

“I’m a very attacking player and full of energy but I’m a defender, first and foremost. My main goal is to stop goals but I like to contribute at the other end too.

“I like to get forward, get crosses in and help set-up my teammates to score.”

McCann praised the impact Airdrie boss Ian Murray had on his career

The former Accies spent two enjoyable seasons at Airdrie and he admits that he loved his time at the club.

McCann benefited from working under Ian Murray and learning from the former Hibernian and Rangers defender.

Murray was a huge influence on McCann’s career and was grateful for his exposure to first-team football at Airdrie.

He said: “I’ve not got a bad word to say about Airdrie. They are a great club with brilliant staff and players but I needed a new chapter in my career.

McCann's final game for Airdrie was the Championship play-off final defeat against Morton

“I felt like I’d accomplished everything that I set out to do when I joined the club. I honestly can’t thank the gaffer enough for how much he helped me.

“He took a chance on me when nobody else would and he gave me game time which I badly needed to progress.

“It’s massively worked in my favour as I’ve been able to develop a lot. Ian was very good with me and he always liked to pull me for a chat about the games and my performances.

“He gave me constructive criticism which really helped me learn and I’ll always thank the gaffer for that.”

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