Ryan Strain programme article

Posted : 3rd February 2018

As a lifelong Blueman, 17 year-old Linfield striker Ryan Strain is living the dream after making the breakthrough to the first team this season and he’s dreaming of some Cup success with his beloved Blues, as Newry City are welcomed to Windsor Park in the Irish Cup quarter final this afternoon.

“As a lifelong Linfield fan it would be right up there with the best moments in my footballing career and would definitely be the best achievement to date, if we could pull it off. I grew up watching some great players lift the Irish Cup for us. I always admired the strike partnership of ‘Spike’ (Glenn Ferguson) and ‘Pistol Pete’ (Peter Thompson) and it would mean so much to achieve that myself.”

Strain has made 10 appearances in the first team this season, following an impressive few seasons for Linfield Swifts and says the step-up from Reserve football has been tough but manager David Healy is helping him adapt by working closely with the teenager in training.

“The step up is a big one, as there’s a big difference between reserve football and first team football. The standard is a lot higher and the speed of the game is a lot faster. I’m glad the manager has put his faith in me and I hope to continue to repay him for the faith that he has shown in me. He is doing everything he can to improve my game, working with me every single night in training and if something needs changed or adapted, he will let me know as soon as it comes about.”

The Carrickfergus native followed the Blues in his youth and is a product of the Linfield Youth Academy, so he will know what the supporters expectations are and he paid credit to the Linfield faithful in his interview.

“The fans have been amazing with me and have supported me from day one and have also shown a lot of faith in me. They always have great things to say and it’s why they are the best fans in the country.”

With Linfield’s disappointing league position, it looks increasingly likely that the prestigious Irish Cup trophy will be the only hope of silverware this season. The Blues are aiming to win it for the second year running and ‘Rooster’ believes the players can do just, that with the help of the supporters.

“I think we are more than capable of winning the Irish Cup. Yes, we have struggled a bit this season but things like this happen in football and it’s all about how you bounce back from it. As long as the fans continue to get behind us and we continue to stick together as a squad, the results will soon come.”

Good luck to Ryan and his teammates for this afternoon’s big game against a fearless Newry City team coming to Windsor with nothing to lose, as we all dream of another day out in May, following the glorious scenes of last year’s Cup success in front of a bumper crowd.
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