Cliftonville boss Jim Magilton
As well as lauding goal heroes Joe Gormley and Ben Wilson following Cliftonville’s 5-0 victory over Coleraine, Jim Magilton also found time to salute Marc Smyth for the work he’s doing to develop the club’s young talent.
Former central defender Smyth – who won back-to-back Premiership titles as part of Tommy Breslin’s swashbuckling team of a decade ago – now heads up the Academy at Solitude, where the Reds’ mounting injury woes were ameliorated by the presence of a host of rising stars on last night’s subs bench.
Teen talents Jack Berry and Shea Kearney joined debutant Ryan Corrigan in being introduced in the second-half, while on loan St Mirren defender Luke Kenny – who turns 20 on Thursday – made his home bow during the closing exchanges.
Frustrated though he is to have seen Kris Lowe and Sam Ashford join a casualty list that already contains Ronan Hale, Ryan Curran, Stephen Mallon, Stephen McGuinness and Jamie Robinson, Magilton – who welcomed Gormley back to his starting XI following an injury of his own – hopes those up-and-coming stars were left hungry for more by what they experienced against the Bannsiders.
“We’d four teenagers that we brought on from the bench, we cannot forget about that, so credit to Marc Smyth and the Academy for bringing these lads through,” he said.
“I know we added Luke Kenny on loan as well, but there’s four young players in that dressing room who’ve witnessed five goals in a five-star performance and there’s more to come, so we’re absolutely delighted. But we need bodies back.
“It’s great that Stephen Mallon played an hour for the reserves on Monday night, so that’s him on the road to recovery and it would be wonderful if we can get him back in because thisRead on belfasttelegraph.co.uk