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Halliday’s new lease of life at Crusaders

Michael Halliday is optimistic about the future rather than bitter about the past as he put pen to paper in a three-year deal for Crusaders yesterday.

Halliday was released by the Glens after 11 memorable years at the club where he won the lot.

While some fans will expect his career to take a downward spiral, the 30-year-old striker hopes to get his hands on plenty more trophies before he retires.

And Crusaders, who won the Irish Cup in 2009 and County Antrim Shield this year have the potential to see Halliday enjoy another successful chapter in a career that has brought him three league championships.

Manager Stephen Baxter beat off competition from clubs including Ballymena United, Cliftonville and Glenavon to land the hitman.

“Stephen sold the club well to me and I’m very excited about this challenge,” said Halliday. “I was in a nice situation because clubs wanted to sign me but I liked the potential at Crusaders.

“If you look at the team of the season over the last few years there have been plenty of Crusaders players in them and there is also good young talent coming through. Crusaders have been winning trophies and they are a club which is targeting more success. I’m looking forward to helping the team. I was lucky to play for Glentoran for 11 years but I am realistic enough to know that I couldn’t play there forever.

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“Players like William Murphy and Noel Bailie have shown that experience counts for a lot and although I may not last the pace as much as Noel I do still have a lot to offer.”

Baxter says he hopes Halliday can enjoy his Crusaders adventure as much as he did as a player.

“Michael is coming to this club at the same age I came here and I won two championships under Roy Walker so it worked out well,” he said.

“He’s an experienced professional who has served Glentoran well and scored very important goals.”

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