Updated: FORMER Newcastle United midfielder Patrick McLaughlin is happy to turn his back on the Premier League to kick start his career at York City.

McLaughlin, 20, has spent the last four years at St James’ Park but, despite being a regular in the reserves, did not manage a single first-team appearance for the Magpies.

The Northern Ireland Under-21 international’s last outing for the Toon’s second string saw him lift the Northumberland Senior Cup as captain of the team that beat Blyth Spartans in April.

But, having penned a two-year deal with the Minstermen, McLaughlin is relishing a more competitive challenge.

He said: “It’s tough in the Premier League.

“Instant success is required and sometimes people aren’t willing to give you a chance to show what you can do, so coming to York is a great move for me.

“I’m grateful the gaffer has given me the opportunity to play football and, hopefully, I can move forward now.

“I was impressed by the ambition of the club, the gaffer, his staff and the chairman.

“I want to be taking part in games where three points really matter and where there’s an atmosphere at the ground because that’s been lacking for me over the last two seasons.

“I’ve played against Conference teams like Luton and Gateshead during pre-season friendlies at Newcastle and was very impressed with the level of football.

“I believe the standard will help me improve. It’s a step forward playing first-team football and, hopefully, we can get promoted next season and then the following one as well.

“Stevenage have just done it, so why can’t we?”

While Larne-born McLaughlin might have struggled to make the grade at the highest level of the game, he is now hoping the experience of playing regularly alongside the likes of Sol Campbell for the reserves and training with top midfielders Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan will bear fruition during his Bootham Crescent career.

He added: “Sol Campbell has played hundreds and hundreds of games and has played in World Cups and he passed on little bits of knowledge.

“The likes of Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton were great as well. I’ll be looking to use what I have learned off them to my own advantage.”

McLaughlin turned down the opportunity of a move to Sweden to sign for City boss Gary Mills with the club also received a glowing recommendation from his Northern Ireland U21 team-mate Robbie Weir, who spent two months on loan from Sunderland with the Minstermen last season.

McLaughlin added: “I spoke to Robbie and he had a lot of good things to say about the club.”

The Irishman is now looking forward to joining forces with another fellow countryman in City goalkeeper and full international Michael Ingham.

McLaughlin said: “The fact that he is here shows that this is a big club that might not have had Football League status for a few years but, in my opinion, will become a League club again.”

Having played at every level for Northern Ireland from U15 level and likely to be called up to the next U21 squad that plays host to Faroe Islands in an August European Championship qualifier, McLaughlin is hopeful of one day emulating Ingham on the international stage.

“Hopefully, I can get a senior appearance and a cap,” he said.

McLaughlin has become Mills’ ninth summer signing and the City chief was delighted with what is likely to be the last addition to his squad before the season gets underway on August 13.

He said: “Patrick’s a good player – it’s as simple as that. He can get on the ball, has vision and will get us a few goals.

“He’s also the right age – some people are saying I should be going for more experience, but players like Patrick and Michael Potts will shock them. They’re not boys, they’re men.

“A lot of players in the Premier League will hang about because they feel they should be playing higher and maybe they should but sometimes you have to go lower down to prove that. I believe York City can kick start an absolutely fantastic career for him and it’s my job to do that.”

Midfielder David McDermott will start the campaign on non-contract terms while a leaner George Purcell will be given the chance to prove himself.

Mills added: “Whether he likes me saying it or not, George Purcell was overweight last season. He’s assured me that he’s lost ten or 12 pounds and I’m glad to hear that because he can show us what he’s all about now.

“David McDermott will be with us on non-contract terms initially. Sometimes it can be easy to throw players away but I know what he’s capable of.

“He’s been on a different medication for his illness (ulcerative colitis) and hopefully that will help him because, if we can get him over that, he’s one hell of a player.”