From Scottish highs to Non-league: Adam Rooney signs for Salford City
The summer is pulling out more transfer surprises. Adam Rooney's transfer to Non-league Salford City from Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen raises questions. Why such a drastic change? How could Salford afford his wages? Am I dreaming?
Born in Dublin, Adam Rooney started his youth career at Crumlin United before moving to England. He made his professional debut with Stoke City in 2006, showing potential. At Championship level, the Potters pushed for promotion. Rooney bagged four goals in 15 games, including a hattrick against Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls were already relegated. Rooney poured salt into the wounds.
Being Irish, the 5' 10" striker is no relation to Wayne Rooney, although their styles are uncannily similar. Adam uses his strength to compensate for his average height, scoring frequent headers. He also has a poacher's instinct.
Rooney was loaned to Yeovil Town, Chesterfield and Bury while on Stoke's books. He didn't show much to get excited about, but grabbed himself a few goals here and there. Only a teenager, he was still learning.
The significant change in Rooney's career came with his move away from England. Inverness Caledonian Thistle called; he signed in 2008. His paltry five goals in 30 Scottish Premier League games were never going to save Caley Thistle from relegation. The following season he banged in 24 from 35 appearances, helping the club return to Scotland's top tier. The 2010-11 campaign was slightly less impressive. In a full season, Rooney tallied another 15 strikes. Those would be his last for the club.
In 2011, Rooney was sold to Birmingham. he scored a few goals with the Blues, just not enough to avoid another loan to Swindon Town. Subsequently, he signed with League One side Oldham Athletic. His scoring had dipped and he was falling out of favour yet again.
After signing with Aberdeen in 2013, Rooney was ever-present in Derek McInnes' side. Five seasons with the Dons was a great experience. With 66 league goals in 142 appearances, Aberdeen fans won't argue the point. Rooney scored 38 goals over two seasons at his peak but his goal tally began to decline two seasons ago. The 2016-17 season saw him bag 12 goals. Last year the former Birmingham striker only managed nine. Not bad but not up to his standard.
With his departure confirmed, Aberdeen have their goals set. Stevie May and Sam Cosgrove became partners up front in pre-season. McInnes appears content, although he may bring in a replacement to add depth.
Salford City can't be anything but delighted to have Adam Rooney on a three-year deal. He has experience at different levels and great knowledge of the game. The Yammies gained promotion from the National League North last season and want to keep pushing up the pyramid. Rooney seems optimistic, too.
I had a great time at Aberdeen but when I heard of the interest from Salford, it was something that really intrigued me. [The club] wants to get as high up as possible and hopefully I can help the club achieve that by scoring goals and help push the club up through the leagues.
Based in Greater Manchester, the club is half-owned by former United superstars. The former United players include the Neville brothers, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt. Each all own their 10% while Singapore businessman Peter Lim owns 50% of the club.
Some may wonder about Adam Rooney's wages. It is even possible he is on more than what he was on in Scotland. This could be the main reason for his move. Salford have the money but whether this season will go correctly remains to be seen.
Is this really the right move for the ex-Aberdeen goal-getter or could he have moved to a bigger club? Surely a move to a League One/ Championship side could have been more realistic? Unless he isn't seeking a challenge.