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Jordan Stewart eyes another move by emulating grandfather's Linfield heroics

By Graham Luney

Jordan Stewart says he hasn't let go of his dream of making it in the professional game, but for now he wants to become as big a hero as his late grandfather Phil Scott was at Linfield.

The legendary striker, who passed away in 2014, played for Distillery and Glenavon, but he really dazzled with the Blues, netting 220 goals in 400 games in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Stewart exploded onto the Irish League scene with Glentoran, but he's one of those men Linfield manager David Healy would say has blue blood in them. A move to Swindon Town in August 2015 looked like catapulting this blossoming talent to the big time, but homesickness and a knee injury that required surgery shattered the dream.

But these days the smile is back on Jordan's face as he's playing matches, and a goal on his debut against La Fiorita in the Champions League at Windsor Park was the perfect start to his Blues career.

Full-time ambitions have been parked for now but they may re-emerge in the future.

"If the chance (to go across the water) came tomorrow I would bite your arm off for it but I can't think like that," said the 22-year-old. "I had my opportunity. I knuckled down, tried to do well but had a setback. Setbacks happen in life and I'm just worried about staying fit and playing every week and hopefully performing every week. If that takes me back across the water then we'll see what happens.

"I don't think I have anything to prove to anyone, not at all. I just want to prove to myself that I can still perform because it has been frustrating the past few seasons not being able to play competitively. It was a good experience over there, I learned a lot of lessons and won't forget it."

Linfield's new No.10 has some way to go to match his grandfather's achievements but he's honoured to be following in his footsteps.

"I wasn't actually aware that my granda used to wear it (the No.10 shirt)," added Stewart.

"It's a bit special in that he used to wear it and it means a lot to my family. I'm delighted. It's only a shirt at the end of the day but it's one with sentimental feeling to it.

"I think he would be delighted for me, after playing here for so long and Linfield was a large part of his life. He did well here and I have that expectation to perform as well as him and that's what I want to try and do.

"I'm just excited about playing football. I started well over there and worked hard but it's one of those things in football, you have a setback and you have to deal with that in your own way."

• Linfield are understood to be considering a swoop for Northern Ireland Under-21 striker Louis Rooney.

The 20-year-old has been with Plymouth Argyle, his hometown club, but has also been on loan at Truro City and Hartlepool.

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