Doherty hopes Ards can help reignite career across water
Northern Ireland Under-21 international Josh Doherty hopes the Irish League can help him achieve his dream of playing full-time football in England.
The 20-year-old is expected to make his debut for his hometown club Ards today after joining the Red & Blues from League Two side Leyton Orient.
Ards are set to play Carrick Rangers at the Bangor Fuels Arena (3pm) in the weekend's only Danske Bank Premiership fixture.
Defender Doherty spent three years with Watford, making one league appearance, before joining Orient in June. After a difficult six months with the crisis-hit side, he signed for Colin Nixon's men.
The Newtownards native said: "I have to thank Ards for giving me the opportunity to play football again as it wasn't happening for me in England.
"Hopefully I can help Ards to secure their Premiership status, and Ards can help me get some games under my belt.
"I played for Ards Academy as a kid and they gave me the chance to move to England, so it feels like it's only right they're the club I sign for now I'm home.
"My dream has always been to play football across the water, and I certainly haven't given up on that.
"At the same time, I'm not naive enough to think I will storm the Irish League and get a big move in the summer. It's a difficult thing to get back across the water once you have come home, but I will continue to work hard and hopefully I will impress at Ards.
"I've been very impressed with the manager, Colin Nixon. He has been working with me at training, so I want to repay his faith in me by helping Ards stay in the Premiership."