Hearts hero sets Premiership comeback aim after transfer move as he prepares for battle with his brother

Ryan McGowan is now at LivingstonRyan McGowan is now at Livingston
Ryan McGowan is now at Livingston | SNS Group
The defender won the Scottish Cup with Hearts in 2012.

Ryan McGowan is targeting an immediate return to the Premiership after the Hearts hero signed a two-year deal at Livingston.

The former Australia international left St Johnstone at the end of last season when his contract expired, and had been hunting his next club. He has now moved to West Lothian, where he links up with David Martindale’s Lions following their relegation from the top flight. He featured during Saturday’s 2-1 friendly loss away at Motherwell.

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McGowan - who won the Scottish Cup at Hearts in 2012 - insists his move was made with the ambition to make a return to Scotland’s top table in 2025. He still feels can perform at a good level and wants to show that in Livingston.

When asked if he still felt he could do a job at Premiership level, McGowan said: "I still feel I can play at a pretty good level. I am delighted to be at Livingston and I need to prove I can get there. I seen this as the best opportunity to try and get back in. One of the main reasons I signed a two-year contract is that I hope the second year is in the Premiership where I feel Livingston should be."

He added: "I came into the club and saw the facilities, speaking to the manager about the season and what he expects. I am really excited about it. Within the squad we do have good experience of players who have played in the Premiership.

“Mix that in with the younger boys who are wanting to get there, I think it's a good recipe for success. Our first competitive game is next week, we need to hit the ground running in that, it's a cup we want to do well. The league will take care of itself. We need to make sure we are at it and come the end of the season, we will see what is what.

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One player McGowan will come up against this term is his brother, Dylan McGowan. The pair featured together at Tynecastle while they turned rivals in Australia while the eldest brother was at Sydney FC, and the other was at Western Sydney. Now they become foes again when it comes to football and there is a desire for victory over close family.

Livi defender McGowan added: “Yeah that should be good! We played together a couple of times at Hearts a long, long time ago and then we were rivals back in Australia as well. I was at Sydney and he was at Western Sydney. I think we played each other there so that is a game personally we will both look forward to. Fingers crossed we get a couple of wins and finish above them.”

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