Another Aussie has sealed a potentially career-changing switch to Asia...
McKay cut short an end-of-season trip to Thailand with team-mates last week to seal the deal with the 2007 CSL champions.
A three-day trip to China where he spoke with club officials and passed a medical was all it took to convince the Socceroo midfielder the time was right to make the move overseas.
“I jumped at the chance to keep playing,” McKay said. “I’m at a good age now where you want to continue your football.
“With a 21 game season, you don’t get much involvement in terms of a full season as you do in playing Europe.
“This is the first chance for me to further my development with a club overseas, so it will be a new experience and hopefully something that will help me when I get back.
“They won the title in 2007 and they want to be there again after being disappointed with finishing sixth last season.”
A-League club Adelaide United faced Changchun in the 2008 AFC Champions League group stage, drawing both games 0-0 as the Chinese were eliminated from the competition at the first hurdle.
McKay has taken full part in Australia’s past two Asian Cup qualifiers and was among the best players for the Socceroos on both occasions.
He admitted future national representation played a part in his decision to swap the sunny skies of Brisbane for the chilly climes of Changchun in China’s north-east.
“I think in the games coming up [Socceroos coach] Pim Verbeek will use European based players, but obviously if you are training and playing still you are a chance,” he said.
“The boys in the A-League that aren’t playing probably won’t have that opportunity.
“You want to keep playing and it will help to keep making those squads.”
Despite spending only a short time in China – at a training camp in southern Chongqing due to the cold conditions in Changchun at this time of year – McKay said he was confident he would fit in with his new club’s formation.
“I watched a few sessions when I was over there and I understand the system they play,” he said.
“They line up fairly similar to our formation, I don’t know where I will be playing in that system.
“I may end up playing as a No.10 in behind the striker.
“With the exposure we’ve had to coverage of the Asian Champions League you know a bit better what to expect.”
The midfield workhorse said he was intent on returning home to help Queensland claim the 2009-10 A-League championship, but didn’t completely rule out a longer term move to China.
“If you do well and they like you enough, they can buy you,” he said. “I’m sure the club would listen to offers.
“At the moment it is for four months and I’m desperate to come back and be involved in the revamped A-League competition.
“The derby games against the Gold Coast and North Queensland are something I’m really looking forward to.”
McKay flies out for China on Wednesday, with the club’s first Super League match of the season away at Changsha Ginde this weekend. McKay is expected back in Brisbane in July.