Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran try to stop Waterworth Linfield move

By Graham Luney

Glentoran are using all their powers of persuasion to stop their star man Andy Waterworth from joining bitter rivals Linfield.

Oval boss Eddie Patterson is making a final last-ditch attempt to keep the Irish Cup hero in Glentoran colours.

However, Linfield are confident the former Northern Ireland under-21 international will be playing at Windsor Park on a more permanent basis next season.

Waterworth (27), whose two-goal salvo helped beat Cliftonville 3-1 in Saturday's final, is now free to sign for a rival club and Linfield have always been his preferred destination.

The former Hamilton and Lisburn Distillery frontman (right) is mulling over his next move but the Glens are clinging to the hope his heart is not yet at Windsor. Glens chairman Terence Brannigan said: "We want to let Andy enjoy his Irish Cup success before talking to him and we've yet to get an answer on that front."

After the Irish Cup final, Waterworth declined the chance to commit his future to the Glens.

His team-mate Jimmy Callacher has made a desperate plea for the striker to stay. In a last-ditch attempt to stop him putting pen to paper at Linfield, Callacher issued a 'don't go' appeal.

"I'd definitely want him to stay," said the 21-year-old. "Andy's a good lad and he's good to have in the changing room as well. He's quality on the pitch but off it he's the life and soul of the team and great craic.

"Without his goals this season (25) we wouldn't have achieved what we have.

"Cliftonville couldn't live with him in the Cup final. Hopefully he will stay and we can strengthen the squad."

Glentoran's Irish Cup triumph is particularly sweet given the financial problems that have haunted the club all season.

To the immense credit of boss Eddie Patterson, his backroom staff and the players, they have not let the negativity or tales of financial woe drag them down.

In fact the opposite is true. They have used the difficult issues to drive them onto another glorious chapter in the club's history.

"You couldn't have written the script from last year to this year," added Callacher who scored his side's second goal in extra-time – his first Irish Cup final.

"People wrote us from off from the start but it's great to win the Irish Cup again.

"2004 was the club's last win and it's a long time for a club as big as this.

"Even when I was growing up I could remember it was every other year the Glens were in the final. It was either the Glens or the Blues, two clubs with a great Irish Cup winning tradition.

"The cash problems have been well documented, but we have overcome that.

"We have lifted the cloud off the club and it is back in the newspapers for the right reasons.

"Hopefully we can get a few players and a few new fresh faces in to push us on to be a better team next season.

"This is a big plus but we have also secured European football which is a big bonus financially."

Glentoran also face a fight to keep right-back Sean Ward at the club as well as midfielder Richard Clarke.

It's understood that winger Stephen Carson, who won his first Irish Cup winner's medal, could move to America.

Belfast Telegraph


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