Belfast Telegraph

Crues new recruit Carvill is craving taste of success

By Graham Luney

With a new chapter about to start in his glittering career, Crusaders new boy Michael Carvill says he's got nothing to prove to anyone and his appetite for success has never been stronger.

Questions will continue to be asked regarding the 27-year-old's departure from Linfield and his decision to join the Danske Bank Premiership champions but in the winger's mind very little has changed as he's now embracing an exciting new challenge which should generate more special memories.

Carvill was part of three double-winning teams during seven remarkable years at Linfield but when his first-team appearances dwindled at Windsor Park it was time to seek a new platform for his talents and Seaview was his preferred destination.

His competitive debut should come tonight in a Champions League first qualifying round tie against Estonia giants Levadia Tallinn at Seaview (7.45pm).

For a man who relishes the big occasion - and he can point to his two goals in the Europa League last year to prove it - the stage is set for Carvill to hit the big time again.

The former Wrexham ace has already opened his Crusaders account, hitting a stunning winner against Welsh side Airbus UK in a friendly on Saturday, but the new arrival has bigger targets.

"People will have opinions about you but what matters is what you feel about yourself. I don't feel I have anything to prove to Linfield or anyone at the club," said Carvill.

"I left the club on good terms and am now embracing something different but as a footballer you always want to improve and become a better player.

"You always want to help and since I've joined the champions I know I will need to up my game to help the club develop further and move on.

"When they heard Crusaders were interested, a few managers tried to ask me where are you going to play but it never really worried me.

"I think when you join another club you have to have a mindset that you will play and make a difference.

"You might as well give up if you think you are going to struggle to get into the side. That's a challenge to me.

"I want to stay at the top for as long as I can and Crusaders have just won the title.

"You have to ask yourself the question do you want to play or not and it's all about my desire to be involved and be successful.

"I'm very hungry to get out and play and I think Crusaders offer me the best platform to do that.

"This European game is an exciting start for everyone.

"An Irish League player who plays every week in the domestic game gets a chance to play against strong sides in Europe and it's a special opportunity.

"I've joined Crusaders to taste success and hopefully it starts with a European win."

Crusaders assistant boss Jeff Spiers will lead his troops into battle this evening as manager Stephen Baxter is on holiday.

Carvill added: "I've been fortunate enough to score goals for Linfield in Europe and be involved in some big games. It's good to test yourself against strong sides but although there are financial rewards with these games, what matters is domestic silverware and getting fit for the challenges ahead."

Crues skipper Colin Coates said: "They are league champions and are doing well again this year, plus they are in the middle of their season, so we face a difficult task.

"They have a relatively good pedigree in Europe and from what I've seen on video, they look like a good outfit, but we feel we can give anyone a game at Seaview."

Aaron Traynor and Conor McCloskey have signed new deals with Carrick Rangers.

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