Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Flynn is expecting to see the old Clarke back at City

CIS Insurance Cup

Newry City manager Gerry Flynn has no concerns that his captain Richard Clarke will be adversely affected by seeing his chances of a cross-channel move before the closing of the transfer window fall through.

Four different English clubs have had a look at Clarke in recent weeks.

He had a week-long trial at Bury, played as a guest for Sheffiield United and also took part in trial games with both Gillingham and Barnsley.

Despite all that he started the season in a Newry shirt two weeks ago and will now be with the club until at least January, when he is sure to be the subject of more interest and speculation.

Flynn is confident that despite being only 22-years-old, the Castlederg-man will take it all in his stride.

"There are players who I would be worried about in Richard's situation, but he is a 22-year-old with a 35-year-old head on his shoulders," said Flynn.

"He has shown a very mature attitude in dealing with everything over the last few months and I haven't seen any evidence of him being affected by all that has been going on.

"I expect him to be the same Richard Clarke as he was at the end of last season before all this started.

"He is a young lad who just loves playing football and when the first-team had completed their programme the reserves still had three of four matches left and he was asking could he play in them."

Clarke will be in the Newry side that will be at home to Coleraine in a CIS Insurance Cup tie this evening.

With four points from their opening two games the border club will take a step towards the quarter-finals with another win.

They will have to do so without the services of defender Paddy McLaughlin, while striker James Willis is a doubt.

Coleraine will have Jody Tolan in their line-up despite being sent-off against Portadown last weekend. He served his suspension in a midweek North-West Cup outing.

Tonight's game at the Newry Showgrounds starts at 7.45pm.

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