Returning Son Matty Shiels admits he wished he hadn't left Sons for Cove Rangers

Dumbarton sign Matthew Shiels in May 2024
-Credit: (Image: Lennox Herald)

Returning Son Matty Shiels admits that watching Dumbarton win the playoffs made him wish he hadn’t left the club.

But he’s now delighted to be back for a third spell at The Rock, with Stevie Farrell’s side winning the race for the former Rangers man’s signature.

Shiels, 23, was a standout performer in the first six months of last season - with his showings catching the eye of League One Cove Rangers.

Matty returned to full-time football with the Aberdeen side in January, but after an unhappy spell revealed he turned down bigger money offers elsewhere to focus on enjoying his football again.

He told the Lennox: “My contract was up at Cove and I didn’t know what I was going to be doing. The gaffer got in touch with me; but I had another few offers. It was hard to decide.

“But when I sat down and thought about it I knew what I was getting at Dumbarton. I really enjoyed my last spell with the club, and that meant that it was a no brainer.

“I really enjoyed last season. The changing room makes such a big difference with how well I know all the boys. There’s no one I look at who I don’t really like. They all feel like mates and that made my mind up. Last season I managed to play quite a lot of games and I did quite well. For me wanting to progress, being at Dumbarton suits me best.

“I want to play at as high a level as possible. Dumbarton being in League One was a big factor, especially given how much I enjoyed my last spell. This will help me enjoy my football again.”

Dumbarton players celebrate after a cinch League One Play-Off Final 2nd Leg match between The Spartans and Dumbarton
Shiels was gutted to miss out on the celebrations as Dumbarton returned to League One. -Credit:SNS Group

And Matty admits that watching the Sons win promotion to League One came with mixed emotions - with the defender wishing he was on the park.

He continued: “I watched the playoffs and was raging with myself. I wish I’d stayed so I could’ve played in those big games.

“Obviously I didn’t know at the time how it would go, so I suppose that’s just football.”

Shiels’ addition was the first in a busy week for the Sons, with two new faces arriving on Saturday - and two key players inking new deals.

Popular midfielder Finlay Gray and winger Kalvin Orsi both inked year long extensions to their deals, with Stirling Albion defender Cammy Clark and Broomhill midfielder Mikey Miller also signing.

Dumbarton FC new strips for 2024/25; Mikey Miller, Kalvin Orsi, Cammy Clark
Mikey Miller, Kalvin Orsi and Cammy Clark model Sons' new kit. -Credit:John Sartain

Clark, 23, was a member of the title winning Binos side from 2022/23, whilst Miller, 29, returns to The Rock for a second spell - after spending time on loan at the club from Celtic a decade ago.

Boss Stevie Farrell said: “Cammy is a real, solid defender and he has impressed every time I’ve watched him play. He has good experience despite still being a young age and also still has his best years ahead of him.

“Michael also offers us experience and leadership which we felt was important to add. He can cover a number of positions and do a solid, reliable job in all of them so we’re pleased to have him.”

And today (Friday) there was further business, as Queen of the South attacker Craig McGuffie inked a season long deal - whilst winger Ross MacLean departed to Forfar Athletic for an undisclosed fee.