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Gareth McKeown is setting his sights high at Carrick Rangers

By Graham Luney

Published 19/01/2016

Gareth McKeown struggled to secure a regular place at Glenavon
Gareth McKeown struggled to secure a regular place at Glenavon

Gareth McKeown says he wants to be part of a remarkable success story at Carrick Rangers.

The former Crusaders favourite struggled to secure regular action at Glenavon but a move to Carrick has put a spring in the big man's step.

Gary Haveron's men lie second from bottom, only six points ahead of basement boys Warrenpoint Town, and have been hit with a fixtures backlog after their home pitch suffered drainage problems.

Carrick visit Ballymena United tonight (7.45pm) in a Premiership battle moved from Saturday due to the freezing weather but centre-back McKeown is appreciating a warm welcome at his new club.

"When Gary (Hamilton) told me of Carrick's interest it was nice to know a club really thought I could be part of something and there's real belief Carrick can consolidate their place in the top flight," said McKeown.

"Gary (Haveron) has brought strong players to the club and I think the Linfield striker Adam Salley is going to be a smashing player. The training is high quality, like at Glenavon, and it will be about getting results for us.

"I spoke to Michael Hughes as well and the club clearly has big plans and ambitions. I just want to play and be part of something, feel like I belong and am contributing. I felt wanted when I was at Crusaders and hopefully it will be the same at Carrick."

The Sky Blues are on a high after lifting the County Antrim Shield but McKeown believes they can't now be caught cold after that superb win over Linfield at Windsor Park.

"It would have been better if we had played them at the weekend," added the 32-year-old.

"When you win something there is always that possibility you can be swept away by the moment and take your eye off the ball but they should have regrouped by now."

Belfast Telegraph

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