LISTEN: I almost went elsewhere but Cliftonville were in my heart, says Joe Gormley
Joe Gormley says he always had Cliftonville in his heart as he prepares for his return to Irish League football.
Joe the Goal earned that nickname and a move to Peterborough by nettign 58 goals in his last two seasons at the Reds.
Since 2015 though, Gormley has struggled to rediscover that form and appeared only fleetingly during an injury-hit spell across the water.
LISTEN: Joe Gormley explains why he opted to sign for Cliftonville Football Club when he could have gone elsewhere and...Posted by Belfast Telegraph Sport on Saturday, August 12, 2017
Returning at the end of last year, the 27 year-old was unable to feature for another club until the new season. But now he's raring to go and, with nobody focusing much on the Reds, is determined to get his club back in the spotlight.
"That's just Cliftonville for you, I don't think teams give us the respect that we deserve," he said. "We'll do the talking on the pitch and take it from there."
With rumoured interest from both Crusaders and Linfield, Gormley could have joined other clubs on his return, and he says he was almost switched his Irish League allegiance.
"I was close to it but I always had Cliftonville in my heart. That's where I was happy for four years of my life and I just want to get back to being happy so that's where I wanted to go," he said. "I've never been happier since I rejoined the club.
"I'm buzzing to get back, especially after being out for so long. I've just been working hard and training away to get myself back to 100% fitness.
"I've been scoring in pre-season games and hopefully I can continue that in the league games, when it really matters."
It's all change at the club since Gormley left and he's back to work under a new boss - former Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray.
"Barry's super," said Gormley. "The boys are all excited. We all love playing for him and we can't wait to get going. I'm really happy that Barry got the job. Hopefully we can do things right this season and show why he did."
Belfast Telegraph Digital