Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville boss Lyttle thrilled with young gems

By Stuart McKinley

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle has pinpointed his first two signings as examples of the quality of player that he is determined to bring to the club.

Northern Ireland under-19 international Levi Ives has earned high praise since joining the Reds last month after leaving Torquay United and Paul George, who learned his trade at Celtic is expected to show why he was wanted by a number of teams across the country when he can break into the team.

Cliftonville have lost deadly duo Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley to full-time football over the last two summers and while replacing that level of quality is virtually impossible for Irish League clubs, Lyttle will continue to target young talent with cross-channel experience.

"Paul hasn't played much. We are trying to get him up to speed, but he has worked hard in training and is looking sharp," said Lyttle, ahead of tomorrow's Danske Bank Premiership battle at home to Ballinamallard United.

"With Levi coming in too my first two signings have been two top players.

"They were also pretty straightforward because they weren't tied to clubs.

"At 18 and 21-years-old they are top talents who can play big roles in the future of the club.

"They are the type of players that I believe Cliftonville should be attracting.

"It is exciting to bring them into the squad and adding to the competition for places."

Lyttle is ready to deal with the selection headaches which that competition for places will bring about.

"Levi and Eamonn Seydak will be competing for the left-back place and it's not a foregone conclusion because Eamonn is one of the most under-rated players in the league," said Lyttle.

"Paul brings a challenge in the wide areas and he will push the likes of Chris Curran and Stephen Garrett, which can only be good for the team."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph