Strain joins his hometown Club having progressed through the youth set-up at Linfield, making his first team debut in a 4-0 win over Donegal Celtic in the County Antrim Shield in September 2016. The forward also won the Steel & Sons Cup with Linfield Swifts in December 2016, with his promise rewarded with a professional contract which he signed in September 2017. The 18-year-old spent the first half of the season on loan to Ards, making 12 appearances and netting once in a BetMcLean League Cup tie against Dergview.
Houston joins Strain at Taylor’s Avenue having followed a similar path; coming through the youth ranks at the Windsor Park, making his debut in the same match as Strain and also featuring in the Swifts side that lifted the Steel & Sons Cup in 2016. The 20-year-old was with Danske Bank Premiership side Warrenpoint Town for the first half of the season, making two appearances.
Both Strain and Houston were registered in time to make them available for selection for tomorrow’s Bluefin Sport Championship game against Dundela.
Upon acquiring the services of the youngsters, Niall Currie said,
“Firstly, I would like to thank David Healy and Linfield for their help with these deals. I feel that we have put a big burden on Michael Smith and Stewart Nixon throughout the season, playing them right to the end of most games when they have ran themselves to a standstill. Therefore, I felt that as we operate with two strikers up front, we required options to really freshen things up and have game changers.
We have already added Lukasz Adamczyk for this reason, and now with Ryan also coming in we have real competition for places up front, which I think we always needed. In Ryan, we are bringing in a local lad who is delighted to be coming on board and trying to help his hometown Club, and we in turn are very excited to have such a young talent on board.
In Lewis, we have a lad whose versatility will be a massive bonus to us, giving us options in both defence and midfield, and is another great kid with a good future ahead of him.
Overall, we now have a very young squad mixed with a few great experienced players and that is the way we want it. We are glad to have freshened things up and I would like to thank the Chairman and Board for their backing in this transfer window. We have again opted to go with young players, but that, in my opinion, is the future of our Club.”
Welcome to Carrick Rangers lads! #AmberArmy