Cathair Friel has opened up about his fallout with Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey and his quick exit from the Showgrounds.
In a revealing interview with Sunday Life Sport, the 27-year-old striker has spoken about how he is enjoying his football again at Carrick Rangers and is relishing the prospect of moving to Coleraine in the summer with the intention to help the Bannsiders win trophies.
Friel is one of the Irish League's most fascinating characters, a maverick style footballer capable of magic and goals. He joined Ballymena in 2016 and says in his first four years at the club Jeffrey (treated him 'like a son'.
Friel claims the relationship changed this season, leading to an explosive bust-up between the two when Jeffrey substituted the player in a win over Carrick in December.
In a club statement in January, outlining that Friel had been transfer-listed, the Sky Blues boss said: "The situation with Cathair is such that after a breach of the club's disciplinary policy, he will be made available to speak to other clubs."
On the final day of the transfer window, Carrick signed Friel knowing he had agreed a deal to join Coleraine at the end of the campaign.
"Before we played Coleraine in our first game of the season, I was told I wasn't fit enough and that got to me," explained Friel.
"About four or five League games in, I said if I wasn't getting my chance it might be better to go somewhere where I would. From not being in the squad, I was brought in to play against Warrenpoint. In my eyes it was a panic move and I'm not sure it went down well with the team.
"From then on I played but I didn't feel my relationship with Davy was the same and things would niggle at me. That night when I was taken off against Carrick we had words and I said something that I shouldn't have to the manager and walked down the tunnel. I was wrong but there was a build-up in emotion in me because I always felt I was the one to be subbed.
"I know I'm not the fittest player in the League and probably never will be but I always worked my socks off for Ballymena and the fans."
Friel returns to the Showgrounds with Carrick on Tuesday night but only as a spectator with an agreement between the clubs that Friel will not play against Ballymena.
He said: "I still keep in touch with some of the Ballymena lads. We are friends and that bond will always be there. I can't wait to see them"
Asked if he feels the dispute with Jeffrey can be resolved, Friel replied: "I would never say we can't. You can always fix things in years to come.
"In my first four years Davy treated me like a son and if I needed anything I got it there and then. When things were going well I thought I would retire at Ballymena. I saw myself being like a Tony Kane who has been there for 10 years but football can be a mad game. On Tuesday with Davy hopefully we'll shake hands."
Friel was a fan favourite at Ballymena but appreciates his impending switch to Coleraine has not gone down well in some quarters.
"The rivalry is fierce and I know a lot of Ballymena fans might be against me but when I play for Coleraine I hope their fans love me and that I score goals for them," said Friel.
"I have worked under Oran Kearney at Limavady and Paul Owens who is coaching at Coleraine so I know them well and there seems to be a great team spirit. They are in the title race and it would be great to join them as champions. With Oran they push for trophies and I want to help."
Friel opened his account for Carrick in the midweek win over Portadown. He said: "Carrick have been great to me and the manager Niall Currie is fantastic. I'm enjoying my football again."