Barrhead’s Mark O’Hara kicks off his first pre-season down south after joining Peterborough United from Dundee last month and is confident he has joined a side that will be pushing for promotion next season.

Highly rated O’Hara had plenty of offers to stay in Scotland but made the bold decision to move to England to push for promotion while also getting a chance to test himself against some of the English giants - and he can’t wait to get going.

He said: “Individually I think I would like to get to the 10 goal mark this season.

“Collectively the manager has spoken to all the players and the goal this year is promotion. We want to be back in the Championship. We want to play at the highest level possible and if we can take the step up we’ll be well on track.

“Last year they finished in the top half of the table and not a million miles off the play-offs. They have already signed seven players, so hopefully we’ll be in a strong position to get promotion.”

The 22-year-old certainly doesn’t lack ambition and that will be vital as he prepares to join up with his new teammates this week for a tough pre-season which will include a trip to face CS Maritimo in Portugal before lining up against QPR in the League Cup.

He said: “We are playing a friendly with a Portuguese top flight team. That will be a good experience and it’ll be good to see what the standard is like having never experienced that. We also play QPR in the cup soon. They are massive club, it’s good to get teams like that.

“Another reason to go to England is because of the FA Cup. We could get the likes of Chelsea and Man United in that.”

Local boy O’Hara, who has fond memories of turning out for the local boys club, continued to live in Barrhead while playing for Dundee.

That has changed with the move to England but O’Hara is certain having a Scottish manager and teammates will help him settle in.

He said: “I played for Barrhead from when I was five till I was about nine. My Dad was the manager. He has been a big influence on my career. He took me everywhere and I’m very thankful to my mum and dad for where I am now.

“It will make it easier going down there especially because they have a Scottish manager. The English league is far away from home and out my comfort zone but I feel I can approach Steve Evans because he will know what it’s like going down south too.

“It’s also good having another local boy in Jason Naismith (who has recently signed and is from Paisley) there. He’s in the same boat as me. I don’t know him but it will be good having someone there.”

Peterborough’s boss Evans turned out to be the deciding factor in luring O’Hara down south with offers on the table from Dundee and Hearts.

He added: “Dundee offered me a new contract and Hearts offered me one. I went down and saw the facilities in Peterborough and it felt like the right decision.

“When I met with the manager and Barry Fry (director of football) they spoke about the way I can play and get forward and that’s why they wanted me because I suit their style. Hopefully I’ll fit right in.”