Chris McKee programme article
Posted : 22nd January 2022
‘Look at Linfield’ catches up with another January signing this week. After much speculation and a slight delay, 19-year-old forward Chris McKee signed on loan from Rangers FC on January 10 and he says he’s delighted to arrive at Windsor Park.
“I was delighted to eventually get the deal done and to sign for Linfield. There was a bit of delay in concluding the deal with a Covid-related issue over Christmas, so once I was out of isolation I was buzzing to get over and get everything sorted.”
The Carrickfergus native comes from a Linfield family, so he needed no persuasion or history lessons when David Healy came calling. McKee’s contract at Rangers expires in the summer but he says he’s only focusing on the here and now with Linfield and our upcoming matches.
“My dad is a massive Linfield fan. He grew up supporting the Blues and as a result, so did I. Having grown up a Linfield fan, plus having played for the Academy teams previously, I know what this club means. I’m delighted to get the opportunity to be here and want to work as hard as I can for all of the coaching staff, all the players and all the fans. Yes, my contract is up at the end of the season and it does mean I have a point to prove, but I’m just focusing on my performances on the pitch. I will get the head down and see what comes of it. Winning matches is all that matters right now.”
After signing from Carrick Rangers Youth, Chris was with the Linfield Academy from 2014 to 2018 before securing a move to Rangers FC where he progressed to the club’s ‘B’ team, who now play in the Scottish Lowland League. The striker also had a loan spell at Brechin last season, for whom he got his first taste of first team football and a first senior goal against Cowdenbeath.
“Having come through the Academy, I know what Linfield is about and what it means to win here. Winning is the main thing at Linfield and we want to go on and win another league title and Irish Cup. Scott Boyd and Jeff Ewart brought me to the club in 2014 and when I left, I was playing under Gary Jackson, so those men taught me everything about the club and I knew what I was signing up for.
“I knew a few of the players here already from my time with the Academy and I know Cammy Palmer from over at Rangers. Everyone in general has been very welcoming. We definitely have a brilliant bunch of lads at the club. The setup we have here at Windsor is top notch, in terms of facilities and as good as any that I’ve ever known. It’s been really good so far and I’m enjoying every minute of it.”
The Northern Ireland U19 International made his Linfield debut as a 72nd minute substitute against Ballymena United in last week’s 1-0 win at Windsor Park, and he nearly netted a debut goal, as he headed just wide from a Kirk Millar cross. Whilst disappointed, he was in the right area and he acknowledges the quality of the delivery and is excited by the prospect of the supply on a regular basis.
“I know I have to bide my time because the team has been doing really well. The main thing last week was that we got the three points, but I was delighted to get on and get a good 20 or 25 minutes under my belt on my debut. I was unfortunate not to score but it’ll come. I just need to keep working hard and when I get my chance, I need to take it.
“With the players who play out wide in this team, the deliveries into the box from what I’ve seen already in training and against Ballymena last week, are top class and that’s exactly what I want as a striker, so I hope that I will be taking advantage of them. I have no specific targets in terms of goals but having seen the quality of the deliveries, I am excited.
“We are in good spirits ahead of today's Glenavon game which will be another tough one. Ballymena had been in good form going into the game last week. I think they were one of the form teams in the league, so if you’d offered us a 1-0 win before the game, we’d have been more than happy. The boys were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t put more in the back of the net, but three points is what matters most and we got them.”
A warm Windsor welcome to Chris and every best wish for what will hopefully be a successful loan spell with Linfield.