Tomelty steps down grade - but he will not be taking it easy with Celtic

Jamie Tomelty celebrates after he scored a goal against Portadown last season.
Jamie Tomelty celebrates after he scored a goal against Portadown last season.
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He may be stepping down from the Premier League, but Jamie Tomelty will not be taking it easy with his new club Lurgan Celtic.

The 31-year-old, who last played at this level with Coagh United before moving to Dungannon Swifts and then Linfield, is looking forward to a new challenge with Lurgan Celtic.

Last season Jamie endured an injury plagued season with Dungannon Swifts which led him to think about stepping down a division.

“I’ve had a bad run of injuries over the past three seasons and thought maybe that was it for me as far as the Premier League is concerned,” said Jamie.

“I played against Lurgan Celtic last season and their manager Colin Malone said to me if I ever thought about a move to get in touch.

“We got together a few weeks ago and I asked him what his plans were and there is no doubt they are an ambitious club. They have players like Raymond Fitzpatrick, Chris Lavery and Josh Barton who could play in the top flight here so even though going into Championship 1 will be tough I feel we can give it a real go.

“I would love to help them win another championship and get into the Premiership.

“The manager sees me playing in centre midfield or just off the strikers which suits me fine. I’m in good shape now and will be fit and ready for the first game.

“At the very least I hope to get 25 to 30 games in but I’m prepared to play in them all if necessary. Staying injury free is the key but you can’t predict that.”

Jamie was quick to point out he did not come to Lurgan Celtic for money.

“There is a lot of talk about that Celtic are paying big money - that is nonsense. I’m not on big dough and I did not come for money - I came to play and enjoy my football.”

It all began at Coagh United forTomelty before signing for Dungannon in January 2008, he spent a year at Stangmore Park before moving to Linfield. He later played for Portadown and Coleraine.

Tomelty returned to Coagh before going back to Stangmore Park last year.

His best spell was with the Blues where under David Jeffrey he won the double two years in a row.

“I had a great time at Linfield. I moved along from Dungannon with Mark McAllister and PJ Gallagher. We had a great run.

“Now I have another challenge and can’t wait for the season to start.”