Belfast Telegraph

Aaron Hogg ready to prove his credentials with Ards

By Keith Bailie

Former Glentoran goalkeeper Aaron Hogg is just one of Ards' 16 summer signings.

While the Red & Blues won promotion and the Championship One title on the last day of the season, manager Niall Currie knows there is no room for sentiment in the Premiership. He took the brave decision to reshape his ageing squad, with 17 players leaving over the summer.

Only eight - Ross Arthurs, Greg Hall, David McAllister, Liam McAuley, Carl McComb, Craig McMillen, David McCullough (previously on loan from Dungannon) and the injured Gary Warwick - remain on the club's books and newcomer Hogg has backed the drastic changes.

"Niall told me when I signed that he was determined to keep Ards in the Premiership and he believed that I could help him do that," he said.

"He's brought in a number of quality players, adding to those guys who won the Championship last year.

"As soon as it appeared on the Glentoran website that I had been released, my phone started ringing. I had all sorts of offers, but Niall made me feel wanted."

Hogg has spent the majority of his career playing second fiddle at the Glens and Crusaders and confessed that his spell at The Oval left him frustrated.

"I wasn't sad about leaving Glentoran," he admitted. "I enjoyed my time there but I had already decided I was going to leave even if I was offered a new deal.

"I've always been in and out of the team. Because Elliott Morris has had a few injuries in recent years I've played plenty of games over the last four years, but I always felt that no matter how well I played, they would go back to Elliott when he was fit again.

"It became disheartening, to be honest.

"I'm 28 now I've been an Irish League goalkeeper for almost 10 years. I think it's about time I established myself as a first choice Premiership goalkeeper."

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