Well it looks like the time has finally arrived. Former Manchester United & Northern Ireland star Keith Gillespie is set to make his full debut tomorrow afternoon for Glentoran. He couldn't have picked a greater stage to make his arrival on the hallowed green turf at the Oval. Irish League Champions vs League of Ireland Champions - Bohemians - in the opening group game in the all-Ireland 'Setanta Cup'.
The Glen's last NI international to be signed was Michael O'Neill - now boss of Shamrock Rovers - who was nearing the end of a decent career he had carved out for himself. He was a safeguard for Glentoran at that time, someone to take charge of midfield and use his experience to help the likes of Paul Leeman and Scott Young at the time. I just wonder, will Gillespie offer the same guidance to the young players coming through at the Oval?
I mean he was hardly the model profesional that say somebody like O'Neill was. I lost count of the number of times it was reported he had fallings-out with team-mates, managers etc. One sorry tale even resulting in a 'fair dig' between himself and George McCartney. I hope he has learnt his lessons and guys like Daryll Fordyce can learn from Keef this season.
I'd be surprised if Fonacab forked out another season on his wages so this may well be Gillespie's last hurrah. Lets make it a memorable one... starting with a victory in the 'Battle of the Champions' tomorrow!
*That's Glentoran AND Gillespie!