Charlie Adam has praised Dundee gaffer James McPake for putting his trust in him and said some managers may have been put off signing him over fears he was a threat to their job.
The Dark Blues today gave their supporters the news they have been waiting over a fortnight for – ‘Charlie is home’.
That was the headline on their website when they confirmed a two-year deal had been signed.
A few hours earlier, Tele Sport had revealed online that a decisive breakthrough had been made in talks and former Liverpool and Scotland star Adam was heading to Dens Park to put pen to paper.
The boyhood Dundee fan was a free agent, having latterly played for Reading in the English Championship, and both club and player have never hidden their desire to make the move happen.
The 34-year-old, who had trained with Bolton Wanderers this summer, has previously pulled on the dark blue shirt in two testimonials but will soon be doing it for real.
— Charlie Adam (@Charlie26Adam) September 15, 2020
Speaking on BBC Sportsound, Adam reiterated his coaching ambitions but admitted his focus right now is making an impact on the pitch for his childhood heroes.
He said: “At the moment I’m focused on playing.
“When the season gets going, I’ll look to learn from James and Gordon Strachan (Dundee’s technical director). I admire James a lot.
“He’s a young coach himself and some managers at the moment might have thought, ‘He’s 34, he wants to coach and he wants to manage,’ and probably didn’t really want to pick the phone up because they maybe thought I was looking for the job later down the line.
“That’s not the case – I want to play.
“But I want to learn and you can pick up so much from good people.”
Adam will wear the number 26 for his new team in the Championship this season as he bids to help take them back to the top flight of Scottish football.
In a statement announcing the transfer coup, Dundee said: “Negotiations surrounding the deal have gone on for a number of weeks but we are delighted to agree a deal that suits all parties.
“For the financial stability of the club we had to stay out with the financial plan created to help us through the 2020/21 season.
“We were open to the fact that this meant we would have to get creative to make this deal happen and we would like to place on record our thanks to three current club sponsors, without whom it would not have been possible.”
Adam couldn’t hide his joy at the move, uploading pictures of him and his young son Louis on the pitch at Dens and writing: “One of your own @DundeeFC.”
He later said: “I’m delighted to get it done and I’m looking forward to it.
“It’s a big challenge. I want to contribute somewhere I feel I can.
“I don’t want to just go and sit there – I want to go and win.
“Hopefully we can do that. That’s the challenge for me and the players around us – we have to go and succeed.
“It’s a big club that’s just not been there for the last few seasons and hopefully we can pick it up again.”
He added: “I do believe Hearts are the favourites (for the Championship title) with what they’ve got, their infrastructure and where they are as a club.
“Ann Budge (Hearts owner) has spent a lot of money.
“But we’ve got guys like (Graham) Dorrans and Fin Robertson – he’s a tremendous young player.
“Hopefully I can come in and help them. It’s a great opportunity for me.”
The ex-Rangers, Blackpool and Stoke man was in the Dark Blues’ youth setup from 1999 to 2003 before heading to the Ibrox club as a 17-year-old.
But he has always expressed a desire to return.
Adam said: “It’s always been there and fortunately I got to play two testimonials.
“It’s hard to turn down. The heart strings got pulled a little bit and it’s an opportunity to come home and play.
“But I’m coming to do as well as I can and I think I can contribute at the top level and hopefully that’ll be getting promoted to the Premiership.”