Belfast Telegraph

I'll leave my mark on Reds: Murray

By Stuart McKinley

Darren Murray won't let comparisons with former Cliftonville stars Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley weigh him down after finally securing a move to Solitude.

Instead the former Portadown striker, who has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Reds, is determined to make his own mark in north-Belfast.

And that includes a determination to fire his new club back into the thick of the Danske Bank Premiership title race.

Cliftonville completed Murray's transfer from the Ports before yesterday's 12 noon registration deadline and with Reds boss Gerard Lyttle currently short of options up front due to David McDaid and Daniel Hughes being injured, the new boy is expected to go straight into the team to face Glenavon at Mourneview Park this afternoon.

"Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley both left great legacies at Cliftonville and played their part in winning league titles and other trophies," said 24-year-old Murray.

"I am my own player and I will go and make my own mark for myself at Cliftonville - if I haven't already done that in the league.

"I just want to get started now and to work for the team.

"I want to score goals, but as long as I am doing a job for the team and we are winning then that's the main thing."

Murray has finally sealed his switch to Solitude six months after first asking to leave the Ports.

He first lodged a transfer request in August, only to later withdraw it after scoring twice against Crusaders on the opening day of the season - before being sent off later in the game.

Everything seemed to settle down after that, with Murray also going on trial with Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Greenock Morton after he expressed a desire to break into full-time football, but deep down he still craved a move away from Portadown.

"I wasn't happy for the last few months," he said.

"It was nothing to do with the manager or my team-mates, I just wasn't enjoying my football and I wanted to go somewhere where I would be happy and where I could enjoy playing again.

"I'm buzzing and I am glad it's all done.

"I didn't want it to go on like it did in the summer and I owe my thanks to the Cliftonville chairman and manager for getting everything over the line.

"I would love to start with a goal against Glenavon. I played in a few big derbies against them for Portadown and I have a good record against them too."

Although he wasn't content in the latter stages of his Portadown career, Murray leaves Shamrock Park with only one regret - and it's something that he wants to make up for at Cliftonville.

"I think there comes a time when it's right to move on and that was the way things worked out at Portadown," said Murray.

"When I signed for the club my ambition was to win trophies and that's the one regret and big disappointment that I have.

"We didn't challenge enough, it's as simple as that.

"We were close when we got to the Irish Cup final last season. I didn't start that day and in the end it was a big disappointment for everyone at the club."

Murray is now hoping that his long-awaited switch to Solitude will result in bringing about the first senior silverware of his career.

"I'm coming in when the other boys have done half the job in keeping the team in the race. Hopefully I can come in and take all the glory at the end," joked Murray.

"They've dropped points in the last few games, but the league isn't over by a long way.

"We still have to play Crusaders again, they could drop points in other games too, so it's just a case of trying to push on and hope we can get closer to them."

Murray has been handed the number 13 shirt at Cliftonville and thankfully for him he is not the superstitious kind.

"It was the only small number available to me," Murray explained.

"All the low numbers that I like were taken - number nine, 24 or 26 - so I just took what was left."

The Premiership match between Ballinamallard United and Portadown which was postponed last night has been rearranged for Monday, February 15 at Ferney Park.

Belfast Telegraph


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