McKENNA SAVOURS HIS CLARET
Duane Courtney
Duane Courtney in action for Burnley at Ipswich's Portman Road last season.
KEN McKenna was delighted to have secured Duane Courtney’s signature after several weeks of chasing his man.
A former team mate of TNS frontman Alfie Carter at AFC Telford United, 21-year old Courtney signed for TNS on Wednesday.
"He will bring some real top flight experience to the back line," says McKenna.
"He is extremely versatile and can play right back, left back or even as a second centre-back.
Courtney revealed he almost gave up football before sealing a dream deadline day move to Burnley a year ago.
The former Derby County and Birmingham City youngster admitted he was distraught after failing to make the grade under Steve Bruce at St Andrews.
However, a timely call from AFC Telford - where he was player of the season in 2004/5 - persuaded the defender to give it one last shot and that lay the foundations for his big opportunity at Turf Moor.
"The season before last I was at Birmingham but it didn't work out," said Courtney. "Steve tried to help me out by finding me a club and I went out to a few but my heart wasn't in it and, to be honest, I was going to give up football.
"But I had a little talk with Telford manager Bernard McNally, who asked me to come down and play, and before I knew it I was having my best season ever and winning their player of the year.
"I just gave it 100 per cent and every time I played I did it as though it was my last game, so I'm grateful to them."
Courtney, who cost the Clarets an initial £25,000 after signing a two-year deal, admitted he also had the opportunity to join Wolverhampton Wanderers as the deadline loomed.
21 September 2006