Eddie Patterson insists Stephen McAlorum is keen to stay at the Oval
Glentoran manager Eddie Patterson has insisted that Stephen McAlorum remains a key part of the Oval outfit's future.
The midfielder is a target for a number of other Danske Bank Premiership clubs, but Patterson is determined that the 28-year-old will stay with the east Belfast club and help move them forward.
The financial problems at the Oval may have restricted the budget for Patterson at Glentoran, but with players like McAlorum around there has rarely been a lack of heart.
McAlorum was one of Patterson's first signings when he became boss in 2012 and the former Donegal Celtic ace has established himself as one of the most influential figures at the club.
And come the Irish Cup Final against Portadown at the Oval on Saturday, McAlorum will be one of the main men for Patterson, who remarkably, despite all the money issues off the field, is attempting to win the blue riband cup competition in local football for the second time in three years.
With speculation rife regarding McAlorum, Patterson was keen to set the record straight.
He said: "Our preparations this week are all geared towards the Irish Cup Final with Portadown on Saturday but to clarify the situation with Stephen McAlorum it is that he has agreed terms with the club and he wants to stay with the club.
"Stephen has been an integral part of the club for the three and a half seasons I have been at Glentoran and he is one of the players that I want all our promising younger players to learn from.
"He has been a positive influence since we signed him and I see him as a massive part of our future and a massive part of Glentoran going forward.
"Along with Elliott Morris, David Howland, who has had a tough time with injuries, and Curtis Allen, Stephen's experience has been a big factor for us in carrying the team to where it is now.
"I want to continue that progression. That is important to all of us on the coaching staff," added Patterson ahead of the final which is being played at Glentoran's home ground because Windsor Park is currently out of commission with the damaged Kop Stand being demolished.