Matt McKay relief at Rangers work permit

Matt McKay celebrates
McKay captained Roar to an A-League Grand Final win over Central Coast Mariners

New Rangers signing Matt McKay has expressed his relief at ending his long wait to play in British football.

The 28-year-old midfielder has spent most of his career in his Australian homeland but on Friday was granted a work permit to join Rangers.

"Not having a UK passport has killed a move to any UK club for a long time," he revealed.

"Now that I've played some international games, it has helped and I'm very grateful to get it."

McKay, who earned his 17th cap when he played against Wales this month, began his career with Brisbane Strikers then joined Eastern Suburbs.

He moved to Brisbane Roar in 2005 and spent spells on loan to Incheon United in South Korea and Chinese outfit Changchun Yatai.

McKay returned to captain Roar to their first-ever A-League championship and grand final win last season and helped his country to second place in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.

Now he will move to the northern hemisphere for the first time after Rangers agreed an undisclosed fee with his hometown club.

"Waiting on a work permit was a worry, but I'm very happy that the deal has gone through and I'm really looking forward to getting over there and getting some results," said McKay.

He has returned to Australia to obtain a work permit, so will not be available to make his debut until Rangers face Aberdeen on 28 August.

However, he has already been given the lowdown on his new club from international team-mate Craig Moore and other former Rangers players with experience of playing in Australia - Charlie Miller and Bob Malcolm, who also played for Brisbane Roar.

"I learned a lot about Rangers and how big a club it is," added McKay.

"They spoke about the professionalism involved and how many trophies they won.

"Those are the kind of things that interest me - winning games and winning titles - and I know I can do that at Rangers.

"I know Rangers are expected to win every week and I love winning games and I love being part of a successful side. The pressure will be great and I'll enjoy it."