Dundela striker Guillaume Keke hails impact of new boss Niall Currie

By Colin Millar


Striker Guillaume Keke has hailed the impact of new Dundela boss Niall Currie after his side won Saturday’s East Belfast derby against H&W Welders 4-0.

Prior to Currie’s appointment, the Duns were rock bottom of the Championship standings with just one point from their opening seven rounds of matches.

They have notably turned a corner in recent matches, starting with their eye-catching County Antrim Shield triumph over Carrick – the former club of both Keke and Currie – before being denied their first league win of the season last week at league leaders Newry, who rescued a late equaliser.

There was no doubt about the outcome of Saturday’s points – Keke netted twice in a comprehensive four-goal victory over neighbours H&W Welders at Wilgar Park.

Keke explained to Match on Tuesday since Currie’s arrival: “Everything has felt different.

“The same team is playing as was playing under (former boss) Colin (Nixon) in terms of personnel and the same formation, so it is very tricky to explain why things have changed.

“We beat Carrick in the cup, we drew away at Newry when we could have won and on Saturday we were big winners.

“Those are three games in a row that we did not lose – we are scoring goals and we are keeping opposition teams out.

“Niall, Cliffy (Adams) and John (McAllister) have the mentality that anything is possible – they were the management team at Carrick that started the season with a run of defeats but won promotion that season.

“They focus on our strengths – they know that we have enough to win games if we play how we want to play – and that gives us confidence.

“If you see our team sheet with Tony Kane, Kyle Owens, William Faulkner, Michael Smith – players whose careers have been in the Premiership.

"We have to prove people wrong that we should not be at this level and we deserve to be in the top tier.”

Keke joined the Duns a year ago and is intent on returning to the Premiership – where he has represented Cliftonville, Ards Carrick and Dungannon, among others.

The Frenchman added: “I am 30 years old, I do not have much time – I am here because I want to be back in the top flight.

Guillaume Keke in action for former club Carrick (Inpho)

“I want to keep playing at the very top level until I cannot play football anymore, that is what motivates me to keep playing and winning.

“If you do something – you do it to be the best, it does not matter if you are a footballer or a mechanic, you want to be the best at your job.

“Saturday was the first time I played 90 minutes since with Carrick in 2019 – every game when Colin Nixon was our boss, I picked up an injury.

“I felt sore in my hamstring, or my thigh, or my heel or ankle – sometimes things are bad luck.”

There is now a sense that the Duns have turned a corner but Keke believes that the concerning results at the start of the season were driven by misfortune.

“We were really down, when you are getting beat week after week it is really frustrating and dispiriting,” he reflected.

“You play football to win and to get results – that is why you play, because that is what motivates you and gives you enjoyment but losing all the time has the opposite impact.

“The first few defeats came when we were not the worst team on the pitch – we felt like we had no luck and any time we made one mistake, we conceded a goal.

“There were games when we were scoring two or three goals and it was not enough, even when we had a lot of chances and thought we played well.

“The timing was bad and very unfortunate – Colin Nixon was the boss who brought us all together and I don’t know why it did not work.

“When things do not work you need to remain confident and keep your heads up, to work for the team and to stay together – we have done that.”


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