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TORONTO - Canadian international winger Fraser Aird, released by Scotland's Cove Rangers last month after an incident in the stands, has joined Winnipeg's Valour FC.
Aird, a former Glasgow Ranger, made headlines in Britain after he was caught on camera making a rude gesture from the stands at the Old Firm Derby between Rangers and Celtic in a top-of-the-table Scottish clash.
The 24-year-old Aird was in the away stand and his gesture was apparently aimed at the Celtic fans. The Canadian, whose Scottish club contract was due to expire at the end of January, was promptly released by Cove.
On Friday, he resurfaced in Winnipeg in the Canadian Premier League.
"We are delighted to sign a player of his undoubted pedigree and experience and have him in Winnipeg," Valour FC coach and GM Rob Gale said in a statement. "He is a terrific character and will be a great addition to our club.
"Fraser is a player I've had a long association with from bringing him back into the Canadian national team at the U-20 level."
Aird, who was born in Toronto to Glasgow-born parents, made 62 appearances for Rangers before stints with the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps and Scotland’s Falkirk, Dunfermline Athletic, Dundee United and Queen of the South.
In late September he signed a short-term deal through January with Cove Rangers, a fourth-division club based in the Aberdeen area.
Aird has one goal in eight appearances for Canada.
In other CPL news, winger Michael Petrasso has signed with York 9 FC after a season with Valour FC. The 24-year-old from Woodbridge, Ont., scored six goals and added five assists in 18 appearances with the Winnipeg team last season.
"We kept a close eye on Michael all of last season." said York manager Jimmy Brennan. "He's from the York community and we really wanted to bring him home. He's a leader on and off the pitch, and the type of guy who will fit right into our squad and be a dangerous asset going forward. (He is) an absolute nightmare for defenders."
Petrasso began his youth career with the Toronto FC academy in 2010, spending two seasons there. He continued his career overseas at Queens Park Rangers with loans stints at Oldham Athletic, Coventry City, Leyton Orient and Notts County before returning to Canada in 2018 to join the Montreal Impact.
In 2014, Petrasso was named the U-20 Canadian Male Player of the Year. He was also selected to the provisional roster for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and made his debut for the senior squad in 2016 in a friendly against Azerbaijan. He has nine caps for Canada.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2020.