Kris Lowe says the challenge of forcing his way into the Cliftonville team on a regular basis was a motivation in his decision to join the Club.
The 25-year-old brought the curtain down on more than a decade at Dungannon Swifts when he put pen to paper with the Reds last week and, ahead of this evening’s Danske Bank Premiership trip to Coleraine, admits it was tough to leave Stangmore Park behind.
“The challenge is to come here and try and play week in and week out,” he says.
“That’s going to be a big ask and a big difference to Dungannon, where I was playing pretty much every week and had maybe got into a comfort zone.
“I think I was 14 when I first went to Dungannon so leaving them was a difficult decision, but you have to challenge yourself and I’ve come to Cliftonville because I want to compete at the top end of the table. It was an opportunity that I didn’t want to pass me by – I want to give it a good oul crack.”
Manager Paddy McLaughlin has cited Lowe’s versatility as a key factor in his recruitment and he demonstrated that with a composed defensive display after coming on as a half-time substitute in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Glenavon.
While he had no issues with being asked to play in a slightly unfamiliar role, he maintains that the exhiliration of making his debut meant he barely noticed the freezing cold conditions he suddenly found himself thrust into after assuming a watching brief for the first 45 minutes of the contest.
“Belfast is a windy oul place at the best of times,” says the Omagh native.
“I was just excited to get out there and wanted to try and hit the ground running. I’d all sorts of things going through my head but overall, I was excited and glad to get my first game out of the way and can hopefully kick on from here.
“In terms of the position, I’ve played there the odd time with Dungannon and at Schoolboy level for Northern Ireland. Paddy would expect me to go out there and know my role and I had no problem with it, I was happy to go in there and do a job for the team.”