Roy of the Swifts!

Roy of the Swifts!

Roy Carroll, 43, has joined Dungannon Swifts on a short-term deal.

By Roderick McMurray


By Roderick McMurray

ROY Carroll has vowed to give everything he’s got to help Dungannon Swifts increase their points tally and climb up the Danske Bank Premiership table.

The former Northern Ireland and Manchester United goalkeeper signed for Swifts on Friday – and the 43-year-old arrives at Stangmore Park at a crucial point in the season.

Swifts sit second bottom on eight points, but they now embark on hectic period in the league campaign, with games played every Tuesday and Saturday for the next six weeks at least.

Their game against Linfield last Saturday was postponed because of Covid-19 but the gruelling schedule begins tonight (Tuesday) when Dungannon are away to Ballymena United.

Then, this Saturday, comes a blockbuster clash against bottom-placed Carrick Rangers at Stangmore Park.

Swifts’ powers of resilience will be severely tested over the rest of the season, but their prospects received a major boost with the exciting capture of the hugely-experienced Carroll – and the new signing is determined to play his part in hauling Dungannon up the league table.

“As a team I want to try to get as many points on the board as possible, it’s not just down to me, it’s a team performance,” said the Fermanagh man.

“You have to go out and give everything you can for the team, and that’s what I’ll be trying to do with the rest of the squad, go out and try to get as many points as we can for the remainder of the season.”

Swifts boss Kris Lindsay spoke of his delight at signing Carroll – capped 45 times for Northern Ireland - on a short-team deal.

“Obviously he comes with mountains of experience and I know he’ll be very good in our dressing room,” he said.

Carroll was released by Linfield in May 2019 after he sustained a serious knee injury four months earlier.

He joined Mid Ulster junior club FC Mindwell in September last year, but obviously Covid-19 has wiped out football below elite level and Carroll has also been unable to continue with his coaching school due to the coronavirus restrictions.

He was determined to get back playing football again – and that spelled good news for Dungannon Swifts!

The Stangmore Park faithful will be hoping he provides their side with an injection of focus and intensity to get their season back on track.

And one respected Irish League pundit has backed him to do just that.

Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Life, Liam Beckett said Carroll is a “born winner” who could end up being one of the best signings of the season.

“The man is quality and even at 43 years of age, I still feel has has a lot to offer,” said Beckett.

“The former Manchester United, Northern Ireland and Linfield custodian is not only an absolute colossus between the sticks, he is an immense character in the dressing room, too.

“He will also be a great leader and motivator on the pitch, where he will be a great presence and commanding figure to have around the place.

“Dungannon have a fairly young and inexperienced squad and I feel Roy will become the driving force on the field of play for them all – and, believe me, they better be ready.

“Roy Carroll is a born winner and he has zero tolerance for time wasters or losers. He could very well turn out to be one of the best signings of the season.”

Carroll wasn’t the only new face to join Swifts at the weekend - manager Lindsay also signed two strikers, Rory Patterson and Nathaniel Ferris.

The signings completed a busy transfer window for Dungannon, who also signed Ryan Mayse and Matty Smyth earlier last month.

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