A favourite of Falkirk legend Owen Coyle . . . now Joe McKee is determined to be a Bairns star



JOE McKEE has underlined the influence of Falkirk legend Owen Coyle on his career after joining the Bairns until the end of the season.

Peter Houston beat the transfer deadline to secure the signing of the 24-year-old on Tuesday night, making the former Scotland U19 internationalist his third January arrival following the captures of Robbie Thomson and Fraser Aird.

McKee was released by Carlisle United after making just eight appearances for the League Two outfit this season, however he has previously excelled in the SPFL with Morton, starring for the Greenock side between 2013 and 2016.

McKee is determined to make up for lost time this term (Pic: Falkirk TV)

The Livingston academy product has also enjoyed stints with Burnley and Bolton – having been signed for both clubs by ex-Falkirk player and manager Coyle.

McKee said: “Owen was 100 per cent a good guy to work for. He took me down to England with Burnley when I was only 16 and still at Livingston.

“I was at Burnley for three seasons then he signed me again for Bolton.

“It was just unfortunate that he was only in charge for a few months after I signed at Bolton. When the new regime came in they told most of the boys in my age group that we were finished.

“There weren’t really any opportunities. From that point, it was all about going to get games somewhere. But Owen signed me twice and I got on really well with him and his staff – he was always brilliant with me.”

McKee has no doubt that the Falkirk Stadium is the ideal place for him to kick-start his career following a frustrating stint at Brunton Park.

The classy midfielder could make his debut in Saturday’s mouth-watering Championship derby against Dunfermline, and he told Falkirk TV: “At the start of this season I went down to Carlisle for a few different reasons, but I didn’t feel like I got the opportunities that I deserved.

“It got to a point where I was desperate to play football again.

“For me, it is about getting back to what I do best, getting on the ball as much as possible, trying to bring other people into play and creating chances. I feel I can offer certain qualities here and I think it will be a perfect fit.”