DUNOON ace Declan McDaid hopes that his comeback story at Dundee can help inspire Inverclyde’s stars of the future as he looks to secure his play-off dreams.

The Morton youth product looked to be out of the picture on Tayside and had agreed to go out on loan to League One side Partick Thistle towards the end of January - only to turn things around and become a mainstay in James McPake’s side.

The 25-year-old admitted that gaining promotion to the top flight via the play-offs would be a dream come true after falling short at Ayr United two seasons ago.

McDaid says that it should be a sign for young footballers in the area to not give up on their dreams despite the barriers presented by Covid-19.

He told the Tele: “To say 2021 has been a bit weird is an understatement really, not just for me but for everyone really in a wider sense.

“Football works in mysterious ways and I thought I was going out on loan to Partick Thistle and because of the way that the leagues below were cancelled I was still training here.

“That kind of just spurred me on to get my head down and work hard, then something suddenly changed for me from there.

“I found myself back in the team. I think it was against Morton that I’d come back in actually and I was helping the team get results, so hopefully I can keep it up until the end of the season.

“It would be amazing to help the club achieve promotion up through the play-offs and that’s the aim.

“We want to get second place and then take things from there but it would be great for me to do that as well after looking as if I was out the picture and going out on loan at the end of January to then working my way back in and helping the club achieve that.

“To any youngsters in the area all I could say off the back of it is never give up, although I was maybe just not myself for whatever reason, or not playing my best – you just need to keep working through it and come out the other side with your head held high.

“I just kept believing in myself and that things would change so that’s what I’d say to any young footballers in Inverclyde, especially just now after missing nearly a year’s worth of football, just believe in yourself and work hard and things can change at a blink of the eye.

“It’s not just me who can relay that message, you’ve got guys like Lewis Strapp who’s from Dunoon, the same as me who’s worked hard and we’ve gone head to head against each other there."

McDaid believes that Inverclyde can continue to be a hotbed of talent for years to come.

He believes that the likes of Lewis Strapp, Reece Lyon and Ayr United star Luke McCowan can go and achieve big things in the game.

He said: “There’s a lot of talent in the Inverclyde area and there’s a lot of us making a name for ourselves now.

“You’ve obviously got the likes of Greg Taylor at Celtic and then you’ve got Lewis and Reece Lyon at Morton then Luke McCowan at Ayr. He’s one hell of a player who’ll go on and do big things in football.

“If you could’ve put us all together at the one time we’d have been some team and some story at that for the local area."