Cliftonville last night moved to fill the void left by Rory Donnelly’s departure by snapping up striker Diarmuid O’Carroll from Glenavon — who in turn finalised the return of Mourneview legend Tony Grant.
Just hours after Donnelly had relocated to Swansea, the Reds announced O’Carroll’s arrival at Solitude, with news of Grant signing on for a third stint with Glenavon following on shortly afterwards on a busy day of transfer activity in Lurgan that also saw striker Joe Finlay embark on a six-month loan spell with Ards.
O’Carroll, who hails from Killarney and struck six times in a 10-0 hammering of Coagh United earlier this season, said he was looking forward to a fresh challenge.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for me because Cliftonville are a massive attraction,” he said.
“There were no hard feelings with Glenavon and I left them on good terms.
“They offered me a new contract but the move to Cliftonville is ideal because I live local to the area and my fiancee’s family are all Reds supporters, so I’m pretty well versed about the club.
“Hopefully I can come in, do well and help the team continue their push for trophies.”
The 24-year-old had barely put pen to paper at Solitude before his former employers finalised the re-signing of veteran frontman Grant, who struck the only goal of the game in the 1997 Irish Cup final against the Reds.
Released at the end of last season, Grant returns in time for Saturday’s crunch Carling Premiership showdown with Lisburn Distillery, when player-boss Gary Hamilton will finally be eligible to participate following his switch from Glentoran.
Dergview and Knockbreda will again try to play their Irish Cup fourth round tie at Mill Meadow, Castlederg, tonight.
The match has a 7.45pm kick-off and the winners will be at home to Derriaghy CC in the fifth round on Saturday week.
Larne Tech OB will face Rathfriland Rangers on Saturday at Dennis Harvey Park, kick-off 1.30pm.
The prize is a trip to 2003 winners Coleraine.