Banbridge Town’s new signing Ryan Moffatt is hoping he can bring a bit of magic back to Crystal Park.
The winger has rejoined for what will be his third spell at his local club.
A player who featured in the top division of Northern Irish football as recently as the 13/14 season, ‘Pixie’ is a huge boost to the Town squad.
A former fans’ favourite at the club, supporters are no doubt glad to see his return. Just as excited is the man himself, who is even looking forward to the traditionally gruelling summer training sessions.
“Everybody knows how much I love this club,” he told the ‘LEADER.’
“Every time I have had a free Saturday I have always been down to watch Town, no matter where they were playing.
“I’m absolutely buzzing to get going now - even to get down to pre-season. I’m actually excited about it for once!”
Last week, Town boss Ryan Watson told the ‘LEADER’ of his hopes to push the club back into Championship One. That is an aim that his newest signing is hoping to achieve.
“I want to be pushing for the league title and for the likes of the Bob Radcliffe Cup. I am here to challenge for honours,” he said.
“I am friends with a lot of the guys at the club and I know how difficult it has been for them. The club are now sitting mid-table so we know what a challenge it is going to be to start challenging for trophies and really push on next season.
“Other clubs will be trying to do the same but hopefully Ryan (Watson) can try and get another few players in to help strengthen the squad.
“The club have a lot of really good young players coming through. Hopefully I can come in and help them and they can help me as well.”
Pixie has already taken to the ideas of his new boss, who didn’t have to work too hard to convince the experienced winger to sign on the dotted line.
“I met with Ryan last week and he sold the club really well,” said the former Loughgall skipper. “He has a great ambition for the club and I love what he wants to do. As soon as I met with him, I knew that this is where I want to be.
“I had other offers, all from Championship One clubs, but as soon as I met with Ryan and saw how positive he was, I rang the other managers and told them there was no point even meeting them.
“When I was at the Town previously, Ryan was the Banbridge Thistle manager so I have played under him before and I’m really looking forward to working with him again.”
Moffatt had been playing at Loughgall until the end of last season, even skippering the Lakeview Park side to Bob Radcliffe Cup victory on Boxing Day.
Before that, Pixie had sampled Premiership football with Ards, whom he helped to fire to promotion to the top tier in 2013.
“I was with Ards when we won Championship One but when we got promoted, we were playing on Bangor’s artificial surface and I was picking up groin injuries,” he said.
“I was in and out of the team and only played about 15 league games that year.
“I was fine on other pitches but I couldn’t go back to playing on that one at Bangor and so I joined Brian Adair at Loughgall.
“Over the last while, various things have been biting at me to get back to my hometown club and try to help give it a good push forward.”
Personally, Moffatt is hoping he can contribute plenty of match-winning performances at Crystal Park. “I always like to hit double figures in terms of goals,” he said. “I’ve managed to do that most years, apart from at Ards when I was playing at left-back! There was a little part of me didn’t like having to celebrate with other people all the time! Maybe there’s a wee bit of Cristiano Ronaldo about me!”
Whether he is the one getting the goals or just setting them up, few players will have more of a passion for what happens to Town next season.
And if success comes their way, I wouldn’t bet against it being thanks to some Pixie-dust spread across the Crystal Park pitch.