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Conor Brennan targets number one spot at Morton after move from Ballymena

By Gareth Hanna

Conor Brennan has got his move back into full-time football and he's not content with doing it as a number two.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper has joined Scottish Championship side Greenock Morton until the end of the season and is hoping he can threaten Derek Gaston's long-held position as number one.

The 30-year-old has been the club's first choice stopper since joining in 2012 but Brennan, who leaves Ballymena to move back into the full-time game, is hoping he can end that run.

He said: "Jim Duffy is a very good manager. He's looking to bring in competition for Derek Gaston. Derek's a great guy. He's been the number one here for a number of years but I want to play games. I'm not coming here to be happy to sit on the bench.

"If Derek's starting then I'll support him 100%. Goalkeepers are quite lucky in that we all support each other well."

Killyleagh man Brennan spent four years in Scotland before returning home to sign for Ballymena during the summer. He started only nine league games for United before losing his place in the team and he concedes his stint in Northern Ireland didn't go as well as planned, pinpointing his final league appearance, a 4-0 defeat to Glenavon, as the moment things turned.

"To be honest, I thought coming back to Northern Ireland would have given me a chance to show what I can do," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "I've been a bit unfortunate in my career so far, being in and out of teams and I hoped coming home would give me a chance to play week-in, week-out.

"That's football. I really enjoyed my time at Ballymena and had a spell in the team but Ross Glendinning is a very good keeper. We played together through the Northern Ireland age groups up to Under 21s and we enjoyed pushing each other.

"He was at the club before me and started the season. I got in and played 12 or 13 matches. I made my debut against Linfield at Windsor Park, which I really enjoyed. It was my first time playing there.

"Then it was during the Glenavon game that nothing went right. It was one of those games. I was at fault as much as anybody else that day. David Jeffrey decided to change the team and that was fair enough. I didn't throw the toys out of the pram or anything like that.

"That's the way football goes and as a goalkeeper, it's up to me to stay in shape, keep training hard and something will come up."

Nonetheless, a move back into the professional game was always the ultimate aim for the U21 international, who also trained with Crusaders before signing for Ballymena.

"Morton were looking for some competition and it was an ex-goalkeeping coach of mine at Raith that threw my name in," he said. "They got in touch with my agent and it all happened very quickly last week. David Jeffrey asked if I could stay on for the last two matches until the club decided what to do and I was more than happy to do that as the club have been very good to me.

"I'm at Morton now until the end of the season and we'll see what happens after that. I'd love to keep playing in England or Scotland and would even like to have the opportunity to play abroad at some stage but I'm concentrating on this season and doing all I can to help Morton."

Morton travel to take on fellow Championship side Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

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