FOOTBALL: Harding can’t wait to get going

Kieran Harding
Kieran Harding

New Carrick boss Kieran Harding says he is ‘excited and looking forward’ to life at Taylor’s Avenue.

In his first interview since he was appointed at the Premiership club last month, the former Portadown assistant revealedthe club has been hunting ‘high and low’ to strengthen for next season.

“I’m delighted to be at Carrick. I’ve met and spoken to Michael (Hughes) and I’m impressed with his ambition for the club,” he said.

“His ambitions match those I have, in terms of taking Carrick forward and not just being a club that sits around the bottom of the table. He’s got ambitions much beyond that and it’s one of the things that drew me to the job. I’m excited and looking forward to a new season.”

After the exits of Aaron Harmon, Conor McCloskey and Kyle Cherry, Harding was happy to see Brian Neeson, Mark Surgenor and Glenn Taggart commit to the club for the next campaign. “That’s been the priority since I came in. We knew two or three were going and they’d made their minds up they were going to go. So there was no point in wasting time on that front, let’s look to find players who want to come to the club and we can persuade to come in and who will improve us,” he added.

“We’ve been working around the clock, trying to get the players. We are hunting high and low to bring more in. We want players who are going to improve what we have. We want players who will add to the club and bring a passion and a hunger to do well.

“We aim to start pre-season on June 27 so that gives us six weeks before the season starts. Most players are doing something during the close season, so hopefully the boys will come back in reasonable shape. We’ll have a tough pre-season and we’ll have six weeks to get them in.

“We’ll also have a look at a few who have been recommended to see if they can add value to what we’ve got. It will be a tough, uncompromising pre-season and in that period we’ll get in six or seven games.”