Boyhood Rangers fan Greg Stewart says he is living the dream after sampling his first week as an Ibrox player.
Growing up the 29-year-old midfielder was a regular at Ibrox and enjoyed the thrill of big European nights.
Now Stewart is looking forward to his dreams becoming reality in the weeks ahead as Steven Gerrard’s men prepare to face either Prishtina or St Joseph’s early next month in their opening Europa League qualifier.
Stewart, who sealed a two-year deal after his exit from Birmingham last week, told RangersTV: “The nights are unbelievable.
“Growing up, I went to games in the Champions League, and it’s brilliant as a fan but I can just imagine what it is going to be like as a player to play here at Ibrox.
“I felt the team did unbelievably well last year, and if we can do even better this year, then great.
“It means the world to me to get the opportunity to play for this club, and the boys have welcomed me in brilliantly.
“I want to be a good team player, work hard and try to create chances for the team. If I can chip in with some goals as well, then that will be great and that will be my aim.
“It is a dream, really. To get the opportunity at this age, I feel I am at a great age and I am coming into my peak in the next three or four years.
“So to get this opportunity, I now need to grasp it. I am excited at the opportunity and what the club is going to do this season.”
Frustrated with life at St Andrew’s, former Dundee playmaker Stewart moved to Kilmarnock on loan at the start of last season and rediscovered his best form under Steve Clarke.
Yet he opted to return to Aberdeen in January in order to prove himself to the Pittodrie faithful after failing to match up to the displays that won him his move to the Midlands during a previous loan stint in the Granite City the year before.
However, it was again a disappointing spell in red as he failed to produce at the top level.
While Stewart knows he will have to return to his best if he is to force his way into Gerrard’s line-up, he believes the guidance of his new boss will ensure he is ready to go when the season begins.
“When you come to places like this, and especially Rangers, there is always a battle to get in that starting XI,” added Stewart.
“When you do that, you have to have that consistency and that level of performance to make sure the shirt is yours. So it is a battle I am looking forward to.
“To have someone like that as the gaffer, and just sitting there talking to him with the presence he has and what he has done in his career, it is great.
“He has put faith in me by bringing me to the club and giving me this opportunity. Hopefully, I can repay him as the season goes on.”
Stewart, who claims to be “versatile” as he can operate anywhere across the midfield, is now looking forward to linking up with Gers frontmen Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe.
He added: “I feel like I play better with someone who looks to go in-behind, and those two strikers with the way they play, looking to go in behind, for me that is ideal.”