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McKibbin still Ards number one: Currie

By Keith Bailie

Ards manager Niall Currie believes that Graeme McKibbin has the potential to become a top class Irish League goalkeeper.

McKibbin has faced competition from former Carrick Rangers stopper Simon Steele this season, but Ards boss Currie insists the Comber-based goalkeeper is his first choice.

McKibbin bounced back from an error at Dungannon to make a number of fine saves in Ards' 4-1 win over Ballinamallard United last Saturday.

Former Bangor goalkeeper Currie explained: "We took the opportunity to give Simon Steele a game in the County Antrim Shield against Linfield and he had a bad night at the office, but Simon is still a good goalkeeper.

"I'm not going to hang anyone out to dry in public as I believe the place for that is in the changing room.

"As for Graeme McKibbin, I think he would admit he hasn't been performing at the level that he is capable of.

"But McKibbin is still the first choice goalkeeper. I decided that I wanted to take him out of the firing line, but it was always going to be a case of bringing him back.

"Graeme is a talented young goalkeeper, and young goalkeepers make mistakes, but in terms of ability and potential, this lad can go as far as he wants. He can be the best goalkeeper in the country.

"This is a tough league and Graeme needs to be mentally tough. But as a goalkeeper, he ticks every box."

Despite sitting at the bottom of the table, Ards will travel to Coleraine tomorrow full of confidence following their 4-1 victory over Ballinamallard.

Manager Currie believes that Ards are still adjusting to life in the Premiership.

"It's a difficult game as you can never be sure which Coleraine side are going to show up. We've just got to make sure we concentrate on ourselves."

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