Irvine's mad deadline day dash

Fringe Socceroo Jackson Irvine has revealed how close he came to missing out on a potentially career-defining deadline day move from Celtic to Ross County.

Irvine joined County on a season-long loan deal just hours out from the closure of the transfer window earlier this month.

Entering the final year of his Celtic contract, the move is crucial for the 21-year-old, who made his Socceroos debut against Canada last year but hasn’t featured in an Ange Postecoglou picked squad.

Irvine was determined to break into the Celtic side this term, after a positive loan spell at Kilmarnock last campaign, but spent pre-season training with the reserves and wasn’t in new Bhoys boss Ronny Deila’s plans.

The one-time Socceroo revealed to FourFourTwo the County move came out of the blue and almost didn’t happen.

“It literally came out of absolutely nowhere,” Irvine recalled.

“I got home from training on deadline day at about 4.30pm and sat down on the couch watching Sky Sports news and all the names going past of people making moves.

“At about 5.10pm I got a phone call from the head of youth and reserves at Celtic saying you better come into Celtic Park right now because Ross County are looking to sign you on loan for the season.

“I jumped in my car and by the time I signed and got all the paperwork through it was almost 9pm, so only a couple of hours before the end of the window.”

Irvine had been chasing a loan move in the weeks leading up to the closure of the transfer window, with a view to the first-team football he craves.

The Melbourne-born youngster is determined to play regularly for the Staggies and is eyeing a central midfield role, after being shuffled around the park at Kilmarnock.

Irvine left Glasgow last week and is currently based in Inverness, about 25 kilometres from Ross County’s home ground in Dingwall, a small town with a population less than 6,000 people in the Scottish Highlands.

“It’s going to be a dramatic change of lifestyle from what I’m used to in Glasgow,” said Irvine, who has been at Celtic since late 2010.

“It’ll give me a better chance to keep my head down and really focus on this season.

“Last season on loan I was still a bit young and trying to find my feet. It took me until the last 10 games before I found my stride.

“Hopefully I can hit the ground running and get a good full season under my belt, another 25-30 games and that’ll progress me even further.”

 The Melbourne-raised talent was close to current Socceroos Bailey Wright and Curtis Good from a young age and is eager to again be part of the Australia set-up like his childhood pals.

 “I’m not content with one cap,” he said. “I want to work as hard as I can to get myself back into contention.

“If I’m playing week-in, week-out in the SPL I can’t see any reason why I can’t get myself in the mix.”

Irvine has joined a club who currently sit bottom of the Scottish Premier League with zero points from five games and only this week appointed a new boss in Jim McIntyre.

The Australian and his new team-mates met McIntyre for the first time on Wednesday.

“He seems like a really motivated and enthusiastic sort of guy,” Irvine said. “He’s done a really good job with Queen of the South, so I think everyone’s looking forward to working with him.”

Irvine is in line for his first chance to impress the new boss on the park when the Staggies host Motherwell on Saturday.