Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville star Donnelly has to move now: Thompson

By Graham Luney

Peter Thompson has told Rory Donnelly to seize his chance to hit the big time across the water.

At least 12 clubs are keeping a close eye on the 19-year-old, including League One side Brentford who have tabled a bid.

The striker is scoring goals for fun in the Carling Premiership and he seems certain to try his luck in England where Thompson embarked on a fresh challenge at Stockport County in 2008.

Thompson is back at Linfield, where his explosive finishing was first witnessed, as the cross-channel adventure failed to take off as the Edgeley Park side spiralled towards administration.

The 27-year-old has good reason now to regret his adventure with The Hatters but that won’t stop him telling Donnelly to seize the moment.

Timing is everything in football and while some kids may leave the province to chase their dreams too soon, the local game has offered Donnelly a shop window and he has certainly caught the eye.

“I’ve just seen Rory from the television coverage and he certainly looks a very talented player who deserves a chance across the water,” said Thompson who is recovering from a kidney operation.

“Sometimes speculation comes to nothing but it seems he’s got all the potential and it would be the right time for him to make the move.

“I would tell any young player to give it a go and take the chance. If things don’t go according to plan at least you’ll not be left with regrets or thinking about what might have been.

“He’s at that age when he can learn so much whereas a player in his mid-20s might be more set in their own ways and be reluctant to change their style. Hopefully the right club comes in for him and he’ll have to trust his gut instinct.”

Thompson is undergoing some light training and is on track to return to action in the New Year.

“Now that I’m feeling healthier I’m missing the game even more,” he added. “I’m reluctant to put targets in my head as I’m always guided by the medical experts but I’m happy with the rehabilitation and how I’m making progress.”

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