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Kernaghan so delighted to snap up Rice for the Glens

By Stuart McKinley

Published 26/02/2016

Alan Kernaghan has bolstered Glentoran's squad for the final months of the season by signing former Shamrock Rovers midfield ace Stephen Rice
Alan Kernaghan has bolstered Glentoran's squad for the final months of the season by signing former Shamrock Rovers midfield ace Stephen Rice

Glentoran have bolstered their squad for the final months of the season by signing former Shamrock Rovers midfield ace Stephen Rice.

The 31-year-old captained Rovers to their first League of Ireland success in 16 years when they lifted the title under Michael O'Neill in 2010.

He was also in the team that retained the crown the following season, winning the Setanta Sports Cup along the way too.

Glens manager Alan Kernaghan ran the rule over Rice when he made an appearance in a friendly against Derry City on Tuesday night and he has now put pen to paper on a deal at The Oval which will run until the end of the season.

"I am delighted to have signed a player with such great experience and above all an obvious hunger to play for Glentoran and move us forward," said Glens boss Kernaghan.

Rice is able to sign for the Glens outside of the transfer window as he is a free agent after leaving Longford Town at the end of last season.

The Glens hope to have the necessary forms lodged and international clearance gained in time for Rice to make his debut in tomorrow's Danske Bank Premiership game away to Ballinamallard United.

Rice himself took to Twitter to announce his own excitement at joining the Glens, saying: "Delighted to have signed for Glentoran FC. Looking forward to the new challenge ahead."

The Glens have turned their recent form around, winning the last two Premiership games after previously losing four in a row and relinquishing their hold on the Irish Cup after a 4-1 defeat to Glenavon in the sixth round.

Those league victories over the Lurgan Blues and Ballymena United have strengthened the Glens' position in the top six ahead of the split, with a nine-point advantage over Portadown.

Kernaghan will now have one eye on preparing for the Europa League play-offs, which will take place following the conclusion of the domestic season.

Portadown fans have called off a planned protest at tomorrow's Danske Bank Premiership match at home to Carrick Rangers.

A boycott of the game had been organised earlier this week, but those plans have now been shelved after the club's board agreed to a meeting with the Portadown Supporter's Society.

That meeting took place last night, with the PSS outlining a number of areas of concern both on and off the pitch and they are now awaiting a full response from the board.

Belfast Telegraph

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