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Cliftoville become culture club after snapping up former Celtic winger

By Stuart McKinley

Published 23/10/2015

Paul George
Paul George

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle has made former Celtic winger Paul George the club's first signing since he was officially installed as boss.

Twenty-one-year-old George was a wanted man during the summer, following his release from Dunfermline Athletic at the end of last season.

As well as figuring for the Reds in pre-season, he also turned out for Glentoran during that time.

Linfield too were interested in signing George, while he featured on Derry City's radar.

After taking some time to consider his future, George has now decided to commit his immediate future to Cliftonville and he will be in line to make his debut when the Solitude outfit travel to Coleraine tomorrow.

"I'm very, very pleased to have secured Paul's services because he's a quality player who will add an exciting dimension to our attack," said Lyttle.

"He really caught the eye when he played for us against Peterborough and I know our fans liked what they saw of him that night.

"I've every faith he can replicate that kind of performance on a regular basis and be a real threat for us."

George, from the Co Down village of Killough, joined Celtic as a 16-year-old, playing one game for the first team in a League Cup game in September 2011.

His progress was curtailed by a broken leg six months later.

He joined Hamilton Academical on loan in January 2014, making six appearances as they gained promotion to the Scottish Premiership.

George was then released by Celtic in January this year, joining Dunfermline, where he made four appearances.

In his teens George was a schoolboy international for Northern Ireland.

He also won Northern Ireland under-17 caps, before switching to the Republic of Ireland.

He went on to play at under-17 and under-19 level for the Republic.

Meanwhile, Cliftonville fans have been informed that they will be housed in the North Stand at Windsor Park for next Tuesday's Co Antrim Shield quarter-final tie with Linfield.

Previously they had been told they would be seated in the Railway Stand, which is what is also printed on their tickets. This has now been changed due to the on-going redevelopment work at Windsor Park.

e NORTHERN Ireland were denied a victory, but they are still in the hunt to reach the Elite qualifying round of European under-17 Championship after a 1-1 draw with Norway.

Christopher Gallagher's goal gave Jim Magilton's youngsters the lead early in the second half, but they were pegged back 17 minutes from time when Abdul-Basit Agouda netted the equaliser.

With France beating hosts Israel 3-1 they are guaranteed to fill one of the two qualification spots in the group and that also means that a victory for Northern Ireland against the Israelis on Sunday will secure their passage.

Belfast Telegraph

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