Robert Garrett’s return to Linfield has been motivated by medals not memories following confirmation of the midfielder’s move from relegated Portadown.
Garrett will join a Linfield side fresh from completing the domestic double of Danske Bank Premiership and Gibson Cup alongside a County Antrim Shield title in a dream season that had the 28-year-old watching on with envy.
Garrett’s previous time in Linfield blue provided a string of silverware but he is quick to highlight the switch was cemented by the head rather than the heart - despite a number of alternative offers and acceptance he must fight for every minute under David Healy.
“Linfield is a club close to my heart, everyone knows that, but the reason I signed comes down to the chance for more trophies over having been at the club before or anything else,” said Garrett. “I was watching Saturday’s Irish Cup final and jealous of the celebrations but thinking how much I want to be a part of that again in the future.
“I have heard how David drives the players on and demands high standards but only because of his desire to make you the best player possible.
“With the squad already in place and standard of signings coming in it is going to be about competition for places but I am motivated by that challenge.
“Stephen Lowry and Jamie Mulgrew have been unbelievable in midfield and Linfield are the best team, with the quality just frightening around the whole squad.
“You can see it is about everyone working together for success.
“I have that hunger to compete for the top trophies at the highest level for as long as possible and turn 29 years old a in a few days so another opportunity for this level of move may never come along.
“I had offers from other clubs starting last summer and Portadown presented an amazing package for a relegated club but it is about achieving my goals to win more medals and compete at the highest level I can for as long as I can.
“I am delighted everything has been sorted and cannot wait to get started.”
Garrett has left Portadown as a fans’ favourite and with the admiration of everyone connected to the club due to his professionalism across a season played under the cloud of points deductions, disciplinary issues and financial problems.
“The messages from people have been over-whelming to be honest and it means a lot I can leave the club on such good terms even if I am so disappointed we could not stay up,” said Garrett. “I loved my time at the club overall and it was a very difficult decision to leave Portadown due to the way I was treated by everyone.
“All I really did was honour my contract and I did not want to bring any negativity or could never walk away from the club at the start of the season in the knowledge it was going to be so difficult because of everything going on.
“To be honest, when I joined Portadown from Linfield as a Belfast man without any connections to the club I could never have imagined I would be supported to such an extent.”