Belfast Telegraph

Young Glentoran team heading in one direction

By Graham Luney

A new, youthful Glentoran team is heading in the right direction.

That's the view of 27-year-old Stephen McAlorum – one of the 'elder statesmen' in the east-Belfast side.

The tough-tackling midfielder has kicked off the new campaign with two man-of-the-match displays in the 1-1 draw at home to Coleraine and 2-1 triumph at Glenavon.

But the former Donegal Celtic ace has admitted he was a little concerned at the exodus of experienced talent from the Oval this summer.

The departures of Stephen Carson, Sean Ward, Andy Waterworth and Colin Nixon has left boss Eddie Patterson turning to promising prospects and those fresh faces are rising to the occasion.

McAlorum, boasting 10 years experience of the cut and thrust of the Irish League, must now lead by example and he is thrilled to see the young guns sharing the same desire to impress.

"It's been a new start for the club but what is pleasing is that the young players and new arrivals have bought into the ideas of the management and coaching staff," he said.

"It's great to see them all pulling in the same direction and hopefully that continues.

"But we are very much a work in progress.

"We are nowhere near a team that is about to start challenging for titles but hopefully we are on that road.

"Look at the game on Saturday, we had a back four all aged 19 to 22 and while you have plenty of energy and enthusiasm with young players you will get the odd mistake too.

"I was a bit concerned when the experienced guys left us but I also had every confidence in the management that they would get it right.

"Glentoran had to make cuts to secure the future of the club and that was more important than anything else.

"It's about balancing the books off the pitch and seeing better performances on it. Over the next few years hopefully the club will keep building.

"In the meantime we will go for trophies and challenge for a top four spot."

* Portadown's injury crisis has deepened with the news that Keith O'Hara could be sidelined for 10 to 12 weeks.

O'Hara has suffered a metatarsal injury and will be in plaster for six weeks before commencing rehab.

The Ports are now without Ross Redman who will miss most, if not all of the campaign with a knee ligament injury.

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