Kyle McClean programme article

Posted : 1st January 2020

The New Year brings fresh faces to Windsor Park and one of them is a familiar face. Midfielder Kyle McClean has returned to the Club on a permanent basis, following a successful loan stint last season. McClean left St. Johnstone at the end of August and signed for Linfield which he told ‘Look at Linfield’ was an easy decision.

“I’m delighted to be back at the club. I loved my loan spell last season and now I’ve signed permanently, I can’t wait to have the opportunity to be playing for the biggest club in the country again.

“It was obviously a difficult decision to leave St Johnstone and I had the opportunity to go to other clubs, but when I knew Linfield were interested and having loved my time here on loan, ultimately there was only one place I wanted to sign. It’s good being back living in Belfast. I’ve lived away from the age of 16, so I’m looking forward to being home for a while.”

The Newtownabbey man – who has penned a two-and-a-half year deal -made 10 appearances last season, whilst on loan and lifted the League Cup and Irish League title which he says has made him hungry for more success with the Club.

“I loved every minute of it here last season. I’ve said it before, from the minute I walked through the door, everyone was great with me. I like being involved in big games and every game that you play for Linfield is a big game. Winning the league cup was great and then to go on and win the league was even better. To have played a part in winning two trophies was brilliant.

“Last year was a great experience and it has given me the appetite for more success. The league and cup were my first two senior medals and I am hungry for more success with the club in the future. That was last season however and this season is completely different. The league is a lot tighter and in my opinion, a lot stronger. This is the challenge to try and push to compete for trophies.”

Having departed SPFL outfit St. Johnstone on deadline day last summer, many will be wondering why Kyle hasn’t been able to feature for Linfield up to now. The midfielder explains what the issue was and the disappointment of having to wait to get back into the action.

“Without going into too much detail, because I could literally write a book on it. Basically, I was advised that if I was to leave my previous club by mutual consent, I would be a free agent and would be able to play for any club in any association. However, given this was the last day of the transfer window and everything had to be pushed through quickly, I only found out a couple of days later that this was not the case and would have to wait for the transfer window to re-open in January. This was a massive shock and I felt pretty badly let down at the time but that’s behind me now and life goes on.”

Looking ahead to 2020, the 21 year-old is hoping to be back on the pitch in the near future, after a frustrating spell on the sidelines and he’s very much hoping that Linfield can kick on and add further silverware in the months ahead.

“Our objectives are to keep working as hard as we possibly can to ensure that come May when the trophies are being handed out, that we are in with a shout. Personally, I need to keep working hard and pushing myself in training, stay fit and continue to learn and whenever I’m given an opportunity, try and take it.

Unfortunately, I picked up an injury while away with Northern Ireland u21s in October. I have been back training and am hoping to be back in contention to play at some point in the near future.”

“Hopefully, coming into a familiar squad can help and I can settle in again quickly. I know the vast majority of the players in the squad from last season and I have got to know the new players over the last couple of months, while being in and around training.”

A warm welcome return to Windsor Park to Kyle who’ll hope his second spell with the Champions is as enjoyable and successful as his first spell
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