Michael McGovern hopes to play for at least two or three more seasons, as he searches for a new club following his departure from Norwich City.

The 38-year-old goalkeeper from Enniskillen made 42 appearances for Norwich over a seven year period, but he is now on the lookout for a new challenge following the expiry of his contract with the Canaries.

“As you get older people always question if you are going to retire or not, but I definitely want to continue on for the next season at least, and I feel like I can play for the next two or three years,” said McGovern.

“It is the end of the Norwich chapter and the start of a new one, which is exciting.”

McGovern started his professional career at Celtic before moving to Ross County, Falkirk and then Hamilton Academicals. His performances for Northern Ireland at the 2016 European Championships helped earn him a move to England with Norwich, but in recent years he has been third choice goalkeeper at the club and has not featured in the Championship since December 2020.

Although McGovern admits he is not sure where the next step will take him, he is focussing his search on teams within England or Scotland, with the aim of getting back to competitive action on a more regular basis.

“It would be brilliant next season to get back on the pitch and get back playing, so that is at the forefront of my mind when I decide where to go,” he revealed.

“As much as I have enjoyed my time in Norwich, the frustrating element has been the lack of game time. I would have loved to play more, but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. I am open to speaking to people. My agent has been speaking to people already, which is nice to hear, but it has to be the right move. It has to tick a lot of boxes and I’m not going to jump into the first thing that comes along.”

McGovern admits his move from Norwich is tinged with sadness, with his seven years at the club packed with highs and lows.

“We have had two promotions and two relegations, and obviously I haven’t played as much as I would have liked, but there have been some brilliant highs, particularly the second promotion where I played a number of games and contributed on the pitch,” he said.

“That was the highlight for me. Playing in the Premier League as well was another highlight. It has been brilliant, all in. It has been a lovely time for my family, living in Norwich. It is a nice place to bring the kids up. My daughter was only two months old when we moved here and she is now seven, and my wee boy was only three and he is double digits now, so it has been a significant part of our lives.”

Michael’s move will not bring him to the Fermanagh and Western league this time around, but he remains a keen supporter of local football and he admits he may have to put a brief pause on transfer negotiations on Friday.

“My two good mates back home are Enniskillen Town manager James McKenna and Michael Kerr at Rangers, and I speak to them regularly. I know how the game went the other day between Town and Rangers and I always keep a close eye on it.

“I will be keeping an eye on the Mulhern Cup final on Friday night!”