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Fired-up Kelly is aiming to hit the ground running at new side Ards

By Alex Mills

Ards new boy Luke Kelly is primed for a baptism of fire -providing his international clearance is processed before tomorrow's clash against Crusaders at Seaview.

The 22-year-old was brought in from Leinster Senior League side St Mochta's and is hoping to get off to a flier with Colin Nixon's team.

The Dubliner, a tenacious midfielder, turned down other Irish League clubs to link up with an Ards team unbeaten in five games.

"I'm looking forward to testing myself at this level," said Kelly, a Republic of Ireland amateur international. "The boss told me he will give me an opportunity. It's up to me after that. If I do well, I'll keep my place. This move is a big chance for me."

Kelly will be thrown in at the deep end against the Danske Bank Premiership table toppers.

He added: "I am confident I have the ability to do a job. Hopefully I can bring a bit of energy to the side. This is a new challenge and I'm looking forward to it."

Nixon is thrilled to have Kelly on board. He said: "He comes with a big reputation. He can bring energy to our midfield."

Nixon has agreed terms with former Northern Ireland youth international Marc McKenna, who is on the books of Chesterfield, and is hoping to secure his release by the end of the month.

Joshua Kelly, meanwhile, is likely to miss out on tomorrow's game as he is currently on trial with Ross County.

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