Curtis Allen believes he can help lift Glentoran to “the next level” after signing a three-and-a-half-year deal with the east Belfast club.
Allen was unveiled at the Oval on Thursday – less than two weeks being released by Scottish Premiership outfit Inverness.
The former Linfield and Coleraine striker is back in the Irish League – and insists he can’t wait to get started.
“It was a tough decision to make, but I came and spoke with Eddie (Patterson) and the chairman (Terence Brannigan), and I liked everything they told me,” Allen said.
“I know Glentoran well enough from my time playing in the Irish League and I like what they are trying to do. They are building for the future, and they have some great young players here.
“I just think I fit in quite well, and I think I will do well in the team. I know a few lads already, and I can’t wait to get started.
“Eddie is building a team at the Oval. They won the Irish Cup last season and they are doing well this year as well.
“I feel I can come into the team and lift us to the next level. There are some very good young players, and hopefully I can help them and make the team into a force again and try and hit the top spot in the table.
“I would love to help bring some of the success from the glory days back to the Oval. That is where Glentoran want to be at, and we are rebuilding to try and do that.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t get back to those days over the next few years, and I am happy to be part of that.
Allen left Coleraine last summer to take up the offer of full-time football at Inverness.
A series of injuries and lack of first-team action blighted his time in Scotland, with the 25-year-old securing his release last month.
Allen admits it was a frustrating spell in Scotland, but doesn’t think he has any point to prove now he has returned to local shores.
“I don’t feel I have a point to prove – I am a proven goalscorer in the Irish League,” he added.
“I will go out and do what I have to do for the team. I want to score goals and do well for the club. I want to get Glentoran as close to the top of the table as well.
“It was frustrating over in Scotland. Luck plays a part, and I didn’t have any.
“I had a few injuries, and Inverness only play one up front. It was just one of those things.
“But I feel the experience I gained over there, training full-time with different players, has benefitted me. I am probably fitter and stronger than I have ever been.
“I feel great and that will stand me in good stead. I am hungry to get out there now and get started. This time last season I had scored a few goals and was in the middle of the season.
“Scoring goals in training is good, but it isn’t the same feeling as scoring in front of the fans. So I am dying to get out playing and scoring a few goals.”