Caolan Lavery has told Sheffield United supporters ‘I’m 100 per cent Blade’ after arriving at Bramall Lane.
The centre-forward became only the 30th player to cross the Steel City’s footballing divide when he joined Chris Wilder’s squad from Sheffield Wednesday earlier this week.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s League One encounter with Gillingham, Lavery vowed to prove his commitment by “giving everything” for the United cause.
“I know there might be one or two people who aren’t sure about me because of where I’ve come from,” Lavery told The Star. “But I’ll show them that I’m totally dedicated to the team by giving everything I’ve got. I won’t leave anything out there if I’m called upon.
“I’m not worried. I’m not the first person to do this and I probably won’t be the last. It’s not as if it hasn’t been done before. The only thing I’m concerned about right now is helping Sheffield United get back to where we should be.”
Lavery, aged 23, signed a three year deal with Wilder’s side on Tuesday after rejecting Wednesday’s offer of a new contract at the end of last term. United are believed to have paid Wednesday £300,000 in compensation to secure his signature following a four year spell at Hillsborough.
“I could have gone elsewhere, other clubs had shown an interest,” Lavery said. “But when I heard there was a chance to come here, that the manager was interested in me, my mind was made up. I wanted to get it done and come here. It’s taken a bit of time to get sorted but now everything is done, I’m just looking forward to getting out there on the pitch.”
“I’m delighted to come here,” Lavery added. “Sheffield United is a huge club and it’s one where there’s no glass ceiling. I want to kick-on and progress by career and I can definitely do that here.”
Lavery, who impressed on loan at Chesterfield and Portsmouth before reaching agreement with United, represents Northern Ireland at international level despite being born in Canada. Capped seven times at under-21 level, he was named in Michael O’Neill’s senior squad for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania.
“The manager here (Wilder) likes to create a really tight team spirit where everyone rolls up their sleeves together,” Lavery said. “In a sense, that’s very similar to how things are with Northern Ireland too. We’ve all seen how well they’ve done and there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy success by doing that too. That’s the base you’ve always got to have.”