Belfast Telegraph

Put your shirt on Nacho Novo to be a success at Glentoran: Elliott Morris

By Graham Luney

Elliott Morris believes Nacho Novo will be a massive hit for Glentoran - on and off the pitch.

The arrival of the former Rangers hero at The Oval last month was the Danske Bank Premiership's most sensational signing of the summer and supporters are snapping up the club's jersey with the Spaniard's name on the back.

Glentoran's number one, who is preparing to don the gloves for a 14th season, is still coming to terms with the news he will be stopping shots in training from the 37-year-old who netted 73 goals in 255 appearances for the Glasgow giants between 2004 and 2010.

The east Belfast giants haven't won the league title since 2009 and that recent record has diluted expectations but boss Alan Kernaghan has significantly freshened up his panel and Novo's arrival has captured the imagination of every fan of our domestic game.

Morris, who joined the Glens in the summer of 2002, says Novo's signing has lifted the club to a whole new level of excitement.

"There's a real buzz around the club and certainly a lot more interest in terms of shirt sales," said Morris who has made 614 appearances for the Glens.

"The fans want a shirt with Novo on the back.

"I saw the photos when Nacho was over for the Twelfth of July (celebrations) but the move really looked to be taking shape when he came up to watch us train.

"He spoke to the boys and explained that he wanted to be part of the team and help us achieve success. He should get into double figures in goals and it's a great move for the club.

"There's going to be a lot of expectation around his signing but if he brings half of the quality he showed at Rangers we can expect fireworks.

"A lot of players have been let go and that is probably what needed to happen at the club. There needed to be a shake-up and more quality brought in.

"Eric Foley looks a smashing fella and there should be goals from Nacho, Curtis Allen and Stephen O'Flynn."

Former Sporting Gijon and Legia Warsaw ace Novo isn't the only big name to move to the Danske Bank Premiership with Roy Carroll and Sammy Clingan joining Linfield and Pat McCourt signing for Glenavon.

Morris expects the fresh faces to sparkle but he insists Glentoran will not be left behind.

"Paddy McCourt and Sammy Clingan are two brilliant players and I wish they signed for us!" added the 35-year-old.

"Both are wonderful with the ball at their feet and Glenavon in particular will be a huge threat this season.

"They will have a great chance to win major silverware again," he added.

"Glentoran haven't won the league title since 2009 but they remain a club that wants to be competing with the best and we want to be in the top four - in the mix, hopefully by Christmas," he said.

"European football is always a target and hopefully we can make a return with this new-look squad."

Morris hopes the back pain that has disrupted his career is now a fading memory.

"I've been doing fitness work with Ian Young and the I-fit classes have been very effective," he added.

"I haven't encountered any problems in pre-season and my back is fine."

- Cliftonville have signed 26-year-old midfielder Ruairi Harkin from Coleraine.

Belfast Telegraph


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