Belfast Telegraph

Jordan Stewart is hoping to reap benefit from harsh lessons

By Graham Luney

Jordan Stewart has been through a rough time in his Glentoran career but he's determined to emerge from it an even better player.

The winger was hit with a two-week suspension by the Glens after playing for another club and he's also disappointed that a potential move to Barnsley appears to have collapsed.

The League One side tabled an offer for the 20-year-old which Oval supremo Eddie Patterson has labelled "absolutely derisory".

Stewart, who is anxious to hone his skills in the professional game, believes he won't be packing his bags just yet and a suspension for a "breach of contract" was another significant blow.

The Glens number 11 was banned from "all club activities" for two weeks but after playing 45 minutes of the friendly clash against Donegal Celtic on Tuesday night, he's hungry to take out his frustration on rivals, starting with Crusaders in tomorrow's NI Hospice Charity Shield at Solitude (3.00pm).

"It's been a difficult time for me with the interest from Barnsley and the suspension," said Stewart, who was also stung by disappointing trial experiences at Stoke City and Middlesbrough last season.

"I just have to get my head down and play better than I have done in my career.

"My motivation now is to play so well that another big opportunity comes my way and there will be no doubt when it comes to a club wanting me and making a suitable offer. Clubs have been tracking my progress and if I keep playing well they will show faith in me.

"An offer from Barnsley has been rejected and I cannot see anything happening now. It was perhaps not handled well and I was left disappointed but I can only move on if the club allow me to."

Stewart feels his two-week suspension was "harsh" but he accepts he made the wrong call.

He added: "It was a stupid decision to play for another side, even in a pre-season friendly game and I recognise that I should not have done that, however I felt the punishment was a bit harsh.

"But I have to take it on the chin and learn from it. I didn't play for about five or six weeks altogether because of missing the second European game and being suspended but the season really starts for me on Saturday against Crusaders."

Glentoran boss Patterson has been critical of Stewart's agent in the Barnsley episode and he wants to see the player focused on fulfilling his potential.

"Barnsley made one bid for Jordan and it was absolutely derisory," said Patterson, who will be unable to attend the Community Shield clash as he leaves tomorrow for a holiday in Portugal, returning on Friday.

"The boy has had his head pickled and he was left out of the team for the second European game because we felt he was affected by these events. We were not happy with the role played by his agent in this matter and I'm left to pick up the pieces.

"We gave him (Jordan) a good extension to his contract (that will keep him at Glentoran until the end of the 2017-2018 season) and Jordan was able to enjoy his football but if a club want to bid for the player they would need to come up with an offer that recognises Jordan's talent and it's up to the clubs to come to an agreement.

"We want Jordan to get the right move and to a club that is going to look after his interests."

Meanwhile, Glentoran youth player Jack White has secured a move to Wigan Athletic as a first year scholar on a three-year contract.

Belfast Telegraph


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