Deceptive speed, power, quality and experience – Dundee have got themselves an emerald of a striker in Cillian Sheridan.
That’s the opinion of two Dens Park favourites who certainly knew the route to goal during their time as Dark Blues, scoring 68 Dundee goals between them.
Republic of Ireland international Sheridan put pen to paper on a two-year deal at Dens Park today after training with the club for the last fortnight.
And who better to give fans the lowdown on their club’s latest signing than two former striking partners?
St Johnstone strikeforce
It may have been more than a decade since Peter MacDonald and Steven Milne were battling it out for striking spots with a young Sheridan.
However, both reckon the Dark Blues have made a savvy move in bringing in the 32-year-old striker.
During that time, Sheridan has played in a host of different leagues around the world including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and Australia.
That wealth of experience also includes starting five of six Champions League group stage matches for APOEL in 2014.
There he took on Barcelona and PSG sides that included Lionel Messi, Neymar, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Thiago Silva and David Luiz.
Back in 2010, he was an inexperienced Celtic striker looking to make a name for himself on loan at McDiarmid Park.
MacDonald and Milne – or Peaso and Savo to give them their nicknames – were both part of Derek McInnes’ side that won the First Division the season previously.
In came a 20-year-old Irishman from Parkhead the following January.
“Cillian was at St Johnstone on a couple of occasions and did really well on loan from Celtic,” said MacDonald.
“Since then he’s played at a really high level, of course, and he’s a good signing for Dundee.
“He was good back then at St Johnstone, 6ft 5in and very fast – deceivingly fast for a big guy.
“He can finish, a whole array of goals, too.
“I played with him a few times and he was a good foil for me, we linked up pretty well.
“On top of the quality, he works hard. First and foremost he’s a really hard worker and isn’t selfish at all, it’s about the team.
“In a side like Dundee that create chances, he’ll bring goals too.”
Before his first spell at St Johnstone, Sheridan had been used sparingly by Celtic before heading on loan to Motherwell.
He did score goals for the Parkhead side, netting four in 12 league games in 2008/09.
He would get six in 16 for Saints before heading abroad with CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria.
Since then his best scoring season came in Cyprus with Omonia Nicosia, where he grabbed 19 goals in 42 matches.
His most recent move wasn’t so prolific, however. He netted once in 16 games for Wilsa Plock last season.
He’s not all about goals, though, says another former team-mate.
‘A real nuisance’
Back in 2010, St Johnstone’s forward options also included the likes of Kenny Deuchar, Colin Samuel and a young Stevie May as well as Milne, MacDonald and Sheridan.
Also in the side was current Dundee assistant boss Dave Mackay.
After coming through the Dens youth setup, Milne had returned from a spell at Plymouth Argyle to sign for Saints in 2005 and was top scorer in their First Division success.
Milne said: “There were a few of us strikers fighting for positions at that time.
“He came in on loan and brought a big presence, can play the targetman role but he’s got a bit of pace, too.
“Cillian was always a real nuisance for defenders. He’s never been a prolific goalscorer but he brings a lot more than that.
“He’ll help them team and I think he’ll do well at Dundee.
“Sheridan has had experience in a number of countries now as well and that’s always a plus for me.
“Dave Mackay played with him too and he’ll know just what Dundee are bringing in.
“He won’t get 20 goals in a season – how many do these days? – but he’ll cause teams a lot of problems.”
As a footballer Sheridan brings presence, he’s also a big presence on social media with his own brand of irreverent humour.
Whether to tell made-up anecdotes about his time in football, fooling plenty, denying starring in Peaky Blinders or encouraging Ireland players to impress England boss Gareth Southgate a la Declan Rice, Sheridan’s tweets often entertain.
Welcome to The Cillian Sheridan School of Excellence. Today, instead of passing the ball, we’re going to learn about passing the blame pic.twitter.com/fBhRisTc6Z
— Cillian Sheridan (@CillianSheridan) April 14, 2020
Dundee boss James McPake has taken great care in ensuring any new signing won’t upset the feelgood factor at Dens Park right now.
The two-week trial, though the Dens boss was reluctant to call it that, was to ensure Sheridan’s personality would fit in.
One of my biggest regrets in football is that I never got the chance to play for Italy
— Cillian Sheridan (@CillianSheridan) June 26, 2021
With characters like Jason Cummings and Paul McGowan already in the dressing-room, entertainment is unlikely to be lacking this season for Dundee fans.
MacDonald remains good friends with Sheridan after their time at McDiarmid together and reckons he’ll fit in just fine for the Dark Blues.
“He’s a great character, too,” the former Rangers and Morton man added.
“People will see his twitter feed and that’s just how he is. You need to get used to his banter but I loved it.
We are delighted to announce the signing of Cillian Sheridan #thedee
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) July 19, 2021
“He’d always come out with one-liners and funny statements, I thought it was genius at times!
“I still hook up with him when I can, we met the last time he was in the country and it was good to catch up with him.
“He’s a really good signing for Dundee, no doubt there were a number of clubs chasing him.”