McGinn aiming for Europe

25-year-old is impressed by his new team-mates at Aberdeen

Niall McGinn: The winger swapped Celtic for Aberdeen in the summer after spending last season on-loan at Brentford

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Niall McGinn is backing boss Craig Brown to bring regular European football back to Aberdeen after a two-year break.

The Dons have featured just once in the Europa League since it came into existence in 2009 when they were dumped out in the third qualifying round by Czech side Sigma Olomouc in its inaugural year.

And for a club that lifted the Cup Winners' Cup in 1983 following their 2-1 win over Real Madrid the handful of appearances in recent times is a far cry from their glory years.

But McGinn is confident that will change under Brown and feels a top-four finish is well within the grasp of the Dons.

"Once the season starts we'll hopefully be able to show what we can do," said McGinn. "There's no reason why we can't challenge for a European place."

The Northern Ireland winger, who signed from Celtic in the summer, joined up with his new team-mates in their pre-season tour of Germany along with fellow new boy Jonny Hayes.

McGinn was impressed by what he saw in their games against Werder Bremen and St Pauli, and he is full of confidence ahead of their SPL opener on Saturday against his former club.

He added: "So far we have only focused on getting our fitness right and getting a good pre-season under our belts.

"We've got a good squad of players and we showed against Bremen and St Pauli we can compete at the highest level.

"It's nice to come to a new club and work with different players. I've played against Jonny a few times and I know how good a player he is. I've settled in well. There is a nice mixture of youth and experience.

"We are improving as a team with every game. Celtic will have a lot of possession so Werder Bremen was a good game to prepare and it can only stand us in good stead."