Chris Casement programme article

Posted : 1st September 2018

The Linfield faithful have been singing the praises of defender Chris Casement after an impressive start to the new season. The 30 year-old spoke to ‘Look at Linfield’ earlier in the week to discuss a positive start to the season for him and the team.

“I went away and worked hard over the summer and identified a few things I wanted to work on and improve. I went away and did that by taking on a bit of extra training myself. I wanted to be ready for pre-season and the season by returning in the best possible shape.”

Since returning for a second spell at Windsor Park in 2016, Chris had been waiting longer than he’d hoped to get off the mark but his moment came three weeks ago when he scored against Institute. A pleasing moment for the Banbridge native.

“It was a pleasing moment for me and a long time coming. I set out this season to try and get forward a bit more and try to add more goals and assists, so it was a nice moment to get off the mark.”

Linfield come into today’s fixture with Ards at the top of the table after battling back for a draw away to Cliftonville last week, despite playing over an hour with ten men following Jamie Mulgrew’s dismissal. The defender praised the character of the team to find a late but deserved equaliser.

“When you go down to ten men it can be tough, especially when it happens early on but we got through to half time, regrouped and once Cliftonville took the lead, our character came into it. We knew we’d have chances though and we responded well. Michael’s goal was excellent and we nearly nicked it through Joel Cooper at the end.”

With ten points from the opening four fixtures which included tough trips to Glenavon, Crusaders and Cliftonville, it’s fair to say it’s been a very pleasing start to the season – but the experienced defender was quick to offer assurance that no-one will be getting carried away, especially at this early stage.

“It’s an encouraging start, having gone to tough places like Mourneview, Seaview and Solitude but it’s early days. There’s 34 matches to go, so whilst it’s a good start, we won’t be getting carried away. We knew last season wasn’t good enough for a club like Linfield. It was disappointing for everyone. It was all about coming back ready to go again and the manager has added several really good players to the squad.”

“When you’ve got the likes of Kirk Millar and Michael O’Connor coming on, as well as the likes of Daniel Kearns, Joel Cooper and Andy Waterworth, we’re a real threat. For me as a fullback, I’ve got roles in attack as well as defending. The likes of Kearns, Cooper and O’Connor have been brilliant since coming in and added that extra bit of quality to us as a team.”

Amidst some curiosity over Chris’ decision to change shirt number over the summer, we asked the defender if there was any particular reason but he said he quite simply fancied a change.

“A few people have been asking me about the change of shirt number. I just felt that I wanted a change from 18 and fancied a higher number. Gary [Eccles] came back to me with 47 and I was happy with it, that’s all there is to it really.”

Everyone associated with Linfield FC will wish Chris every success for the season and will no doubt hope to see him continue his fine form which has earned him praise in the early stages of the season.
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