Michael Moore is confident he can adjust to life in the Danske Bank Premiership after making the switch from Islandmagee to basement strugglers Lisburn Distillery.
The Carrick man this week secured a move to play for Tim McCann’s Whites until the end of the season.
At 27, having won several trophies with the Islanders, he says he now wants to seize the chance to test himself against the best in the Irish League and help in the battle to beat the drop.
A formidable figure in the Amateur League’s Premier Division, the powerful striker has netted an impressive 16 times in 20 games for the Wilbourne Park outfit during this campaign. But he knows he is making a huge jump up the footballing ladder.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think I’m going to go straight into the team. But I’m more than confident in my own ability. I think I can go there, hold my own and not look out of place,” he said.
Moore revealed he has already turned down three Championship One clubs in this transfer window to link up with Distillery. “I’m not getting any younger and I want to go and test myself against the best players about,” he said.
The Whites’ interest in Moore began in September, but he had to bide his time until the transfer window opened earlier this month.
“When Distillery asked me if I would be interested in joining I said, yes, of course. They tried to sign me, but had wait for the transfer window. So, they said they would keep in contact with me, watch me a few times and if I was still playing well and scoring goals, they would sign me.
“We agreed terms and I trained with them the whole month of December. The transfer has now gone through.”
At Islandmagee the frontman was also utilised at centre-back and in centre-midfield, but he says the New Grosvenor outfit has acquired his services to play in his natural position as a centre-forward.
In 2011, Cliftonville’s Joe Gormley made an almost seamless transition to the Premiership after cutting his teeth as a clinical finisher with Crumlin Star, and Moore says there are more Amateur League stars who are capable of making the step.
“In my opinion there are maybe seven or eight players who are more than good enough to play at that level, but they are just happy enough playing with their mates.
“I have signed for Distillery until the end of the season; I’ll hopefully get a run in the team and maybe score a few goals and just take it from there.”
He added: “I’ve enjoyed every minute at Islandmagee and I would encourage any player in the Amateur League to play for them. They are a great club with great people and Stephen Donald is a top-class manager.”
Report by John Gillespie | Twitter: @Times_Sport