Ryan Christie on leaving Celtic, choosing cherries and golf

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WHEN the call came in, it was too early for Ryan Christie.

As a teenager, just starting to make her way into professional football, Christie was fortunate enough to leave the comforts of home and take the big step south.

But he chose not to, instead staying with his hometown team, Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

However, Christie and apparently Cherries have been keeping tabs ever since.

After his two seasons with the senior Inverness squad, Christie transferred to Scottish giants Celtic in 2015.

He was slow to fully establish himself, sent on loan to Aberdeen for 18 months, before clinching a spot on the Glasgow side on his return in the summer of 2018.

Trophy after trophy he followed in his highly successful stint at Parkhead, helping the club to back-to-back domestic trebles, also appearing regularly in the Europa League and Champions League.

But when the call came back from Cherry this summer, it was time to have a go south of the border.

“Since I was about 17 or 18, they’ve been making an offer throughout my stay in Inverness,” Christie explained in an interview with the Daily Echo.

“At the time, I was still very young and hadn’t really settled in Inverness.

“So I didn’t want to go down too early. But when a club expresses interest in you, you take that as a compliment.

“You tend to look for the team in the following years. When they got back to that time, it was just the kind of perfect time to go down and give it a try.

Although she had followed the Cherries from afar, Christie had never visited the town of Bournemouth before committing to a three-year contract.

All the paperwork and medical checks have been carried out in Scotland, as the 26-year-old prepares for a flight to Denmark with the national team.

Bournemouth Echo:

Reflecting on the chaotic final days of the transfer window, Christie said, “Obviously that was kind of crazy stress on deadline day and that sort of thing. Then finally cross the line, be thrilled and then there was obviously a bit of a delay where normally when you sign up with a new team you go down and meet everyone right away.

“While I had to finish my time with Scotland and it was awesome, I had two good results with them which prepared me well. To be fair, once I got here I loved every minute so it was good.

“To be fair, by the time you mention this area to everyone, everyone is crazy about it.

“I haven’t heard a bad word about the place itself at all. And I’m buddy with Ryan Fraser. He also stayed here.

“And Jayden Stockley, who I played with in Aberdeen. So I still had people around me who I could ask and get some knowledge.

“And the manager especially, talking to him on the phone. The way he sold it, it just seemed like the perfect solution.

Bournemouth Echo:

Asked about her conversations with Fraser about the move, Christie added, “It was all coming out on Sky Sports and everything and on my end I wasn’t even sure if it was done yet, so I didn’t want to ask the folks over. region before I even get off!

“Unfortunately for him (Fraser) he got a hit with Scotland and was sent home earlier but everyone, even the boys in Scotland, was asking or raving about it.

“For me, it was kind of a wake-up call back then.”

Christie was linked with other clubs over the summer, including Premier League duo Southampton and Burnley.

“To be fair there were a few other options,” revealed the Scotland international.

“But when I sort of sat down and felt it, honestly, it was more of a kind of feeling.

“You always take it as a compliment when a team is interested in you and you always have to appreciate it. But in terms of the style of football and what I wanted to accomplish and stuff like that, I just felt like Bournemouth was the kind of perfect fit.

“It all seemed to line up in the end and when it came to my intuition I felt like Bournemouth was right.

“So far I know this is the start of course, but I feel like I made the right decision, which is good.”

He added: “My girlfriend is with me right now. She’s been downstairs for the first week or so.

“She’ll go up the road to sort things up there, then she’ll come back down.” The house hunt is on for the moment!

“But obviously we’ll get settled as quickly as possible I’m sure and everyone at the club has been incredibly helpful, everything we needed is sorted out.

“So that kind of allows me to focus on football, because everyone knows how long a season in the league is.”

After making her debut last weekend on the bench against Barnsley before starting the midweek victory against QPR, Christie this week discovered her new surroundings, posting a video via her Instagram of a walk along the Beach.

But what else does he like to do when he’s not on the training ground?

Christie said: “I’d like to think I’m a golfer, but my handicap probably says something else!

“But I’ve heard that there are some great courses around here. I am sure that between two games, I will manage to get out for a few laps.

“First and foremost, I’m going to have to ship the clubs!”