Cathair Friel admits he needed more playing time after his loan spell at Dungannon Swifts.
he is looking to launch his career, having struggled to retain a top spot in the team at parent club Coleraine.
That prompted a deadline day move to Swift, for whom he made an instant impact with two goals on his debut.
Friel played the full 90 minutes against Annagh United as Dungannon progressed to the Irish Cup quarter-finals and the 28-year-old is aware he needs many more minutes on the pitch, starting against former side Ballymena United tomorrow.
“The main priority is getting playing time,” he said.
“Even on Saturday I thought if I could get 70 minutes it would be good because I haven’t played for a while.
“But when you score goals you want to stay as long as you can, and going off the mark was the main thing.”
Friel spent four seasons at Ballymena after joining Limavady United in 2016, but left under acrimonious circumstances.
Last March, Friel told Sunday Life how his relationship with Ballymena boss David Jeffrey fell apart towards the end of his time at the club.
He moved to Carrick, having already agreed a deal to join Coleraine at the end of last campaign.
But playing time was limited alongside Oran Kearney and, with Dungannon needing to strengthen up front, Shiels decided to loan him out.
“I spoke to Dean and also a few players – I know James Knowles, Ryan Mayse and Joe McCready from my other clubs,” he explained.
“As soon as I spoke to Dean I knew I had to play again and it would be for him. (Last weekend) it was the first time I saw the whole team go out, but it is probably one of the youngest teams in the league.
“If you’re good enough, Dean seems to want to throw you in, and he gets results with that.” They won six of seven there, so it works.