Life at St Johnstone didn’t work out how David McMillan had hoped.
But the ex-Saints striker is confident it will be a different story for Daniel Cleary.
McMillan arrived in Perth in January 2018 with a big reputation.
The prolific goalscorer at Dundalk, in Irish domestic football and in Europe, went on to only find the net five times under Tommy Wright, however.
And after spells with Hamilton Accies and Falkirk, he returned to the Dublin club, where Cleary was a team-mate.
Now it is the former Liverpool and Birmingham City centre-back’s turn to try and crack the Scottish Premiership.
And McMillan believes he has all the attributes needed to do so.
Daniel Cleary gets Dundalk's 2nd.
— Domestic Ireland (@DomesticIreland) October 1, 2020
“Dan is one of the best ball-playing centre halves I have played with,” said the 33-year-old.
“He is very good at taking it out from the back and with St Johnstone playing a back-three he will be well suited to that.
“His best games have come when he’s left of the three and he can take the ball, carry it forward and get the team up the pitch.
“As a striker that’s something you don’t like playing against because you have to chase back.
“Dan has such good ability on the ball and he never gets flustered, so he’s a lot like Jason Kerr.
“I can see why people would make those comparisons. They’re both ball-playing centre halves who can defend as well.
“Dan is a good, strong character who is confident in himself. It won’t faze him moving to a new league.
“He’s got experience of playing in England throughout his youth career and will know what to expect. He backs his ability so I would expect him to be a success.”
Man in demand
When Cleary’s contract with Dundalk ran out recently he was a man in high demand, so it was a coup for Saints to secure his services on a two-and-a-half year deal.
“Dan had good options in Ireland but wanted to try something different and that tells you about how ambitious he is,” said McMillan.
“It wasn’t a move he had to take but he wanted to test himself and improve.
“There would have been plenty clubs in Ireland keen to sign him.
“He spoke to me about it, asked about St Johnstone and what it’s like in Scottish football.
“I gave him my opinion – that it’s a good club and the team have come back from situations before where they’ve been struggling.
“Hopefully Dan will add a calmness to their defence and help them stay up.
“I can definitely see why St Johnstone have signed him. He seems a good fit and hopefully they’ll bring in a few more players to help get their season sorted.”
Pushed out the door
Reflecting on his own Saints’ career, McMillan said: “My time there was disappointing because I didn’t play much after getting injured 10 or 20 minutes into my debut.
“From there, I couldn’t get back into the team. Tony Watt and Matty Kennedy came in and did well so it was hard.
“I scored a couple of goals near the end of the season and thought I would get a chance the following year.
“But I felt a bit pushed out of the door in the end. The manager made it clear he didn’t want me anymore.
“I’d been injured a lot and didn’t feel I got as many opportunities as I could have, which isn’t what you expect when you sign a two-and-a-half year contract.
“But that’s football I suppose and while it didn’t work out the way I hoped, it was still something I’m glad I tried and enjoyed.
“I wanted to go across and show what I could do, as much for other Irish players as myself.
“Football-wise it was a chance to experience playing outside Ireland against some massive clubs. There are no regrets.
“I enjoyed living in Edinburgh as well so it was a good experience.”