Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Lowry's football education is going fine says Beckett

Liam Beckett will hope that some of the spirit of Leeds United's famous 1972 title-winning side will rub off this afternoon.

The Institute boss clearly has friends in even higher places than Drumahoe as he travelled to Yorkshire at the start of the week to attend a special dinner to mark the Elland Road's successes of 35 years ago.

While he can't boast a Billy Bremner or Johnny Giles in the engine-room, he is licking his lips at a mouth-watering midfield tussle between two of the local games rising stars.

Newry City skipper Richard Clarke scored twice last week and far from licking his wounds after the falling through of his cross-channel move in the summer, has helped fire the Bordermen up the league table.

He will be up against Philip Lowry, who is excelling for Beckett's men, despite sandwiching training in between his homework.

"Richard is one of the best players in the country at the minute, but Philip is going to be a very talented player," commented Beckett.

"He's in the Northern Ireland under-19 squad and even though he's at school he never misses training. He is so committed and if he's looking for a player to model himself on, he should look no further than Richard."

Clarke is not the only danger to the visitors, with Beckett particularly wary of a man he managed at Cliftonville - Sean Friars.

"I think people know I tried to sign Sean during the summer but he chose to go to Newry," he said.

"He's a quality player and in Lee Feeney they have another player who can be a real threat. But I have been very pleased with our defence, and we are level with Linfield in that department at the moment, and that is something to be proud of."

That defence will be tested with the likely absence of Marty Cutmore (flu), while also out are David Kee, Ryan Semple, Ruairi McClean and Ruari Boyle.

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