PAUL Heffernan is determined to make a big impact north of the border after a frustrating spell at Sheffield Wednesday.
The striker is thrilled to be embarking on a new chapter in his career at Kilmarnock, having left the Owls by mutual consent two days ago.
The former Doncaster Rovers star has penned a three-year contract with the Scottish Premier League outfit.
But Heffernan has rejected claims that the switch is a backward step in his career, insisting: “It’s a new challenge, not a step back.
“I’m here to try to further my career by coming up here and hopefully doing well.”
He acknowledges he will have to prove his worth at Rugby Park but the Dubliner is confident he can deliver plenty of goals.
“As a striker you are always judged on goals so if I can get my share of goals I will be more than happy and I’m sure the fans will be as well,” he added.
Heffernan admits he spoke to close friend Gordon Greer about Kilmarnock and the commanding defender gave a glittering critique of the club.
“Gordon had some very nice things to say about the club and told me to get myself up here,” said the 29-year-old. “He said I would enjoy myself and that was good to hear.”
Having fallen behind Gary Madine, Neil Mellor and Clinton Morrison in the pecking order for a striking role at Hillsborough, it was no surprise Heffernan wanted to move on and leave the club this summer.
“I had a year left on my deal at Wednesday but didn’t play enough games last year,” he said. “I had a few options down in England but after I spoke to Kenny Shiels (Kilmarnock manager) I wanted to come here.”
Shiels has described Heffernan, who made 23 appearances in all competitions for the Owls, scoring three goals, as a ‘fantastic finisher’ and the striker has set his sights on hitting 20 goals in Scotland’s top flight.
He said: “I’m confident I can fill the goals void left by Conor Sammon. My best tally in a season was 21 and it would be nice to get near that again.”
Heffernan started just three league matches in his troubled stint at Wednesday and all three of his goals came on home soil against Bristol Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Peterborough United after coming on as a substitute. His final appearance for Wednesday was in the 3-1 home loss to Brentford at the end of March.