Belfast Telegraph

Billy Weir: Jordan Stewart's Linfield career could become a love story after all

Friends reunited: Linfield manager David Healy and a much happier Jordan Stewart
Friends reunited: Linfield manager David Healy and a much happier Jordan Stewart

By Billy Weir

Question - what do David Healy and pop heartthrob Peter Andre have in common? No, it's not that they both will launch into Mysterious Girl at the drop of the hat, nor has Healy, to the best of my knowledge, munched on a monkey's rude bits for a tasty snack in the jungle.

No, the answer is that they have both had a rather tempestuous relationship with someone called Jordan. But, unlike the crooner, what looked like an acrimonious divorce seems to have been averted at Windsor Park.

The Jordan in question, of course, is Jordan Stewart, a player who has endured a fair bit of upheaval in his young footballing life, from overnight sensation at Glentoran, a hellish period spent in full-time football at Swindon and a much-heralded move to Linfield that has never really taken off.

Why that hasn't happened for a player who has talent to burn is open to question, but from rock bottom earlier in the season when the former Northern Ireland Under-21 international was on the transfer list, he turned in a five-star display at the weekend as the Blues cast champions Crusaders aside like Harry Redknapp downing a pint of fish eyes.

His man of the match display was rounded off with a fabulous solo goal, earning him rave reviews, and player and manager, for once, were singing in perfect harmony.

"I've had a tough time," he said. "I maybe lost my way a little bit when I came back from England. I discussed the situation at length with the boss, but I was eventually put on the transfer list."

Healy explained his part in the early stages of a likely break-up.

"It (the transfer situation) was an agreement between the two of us," he explained. "I understood Jordan's reasons. We brought new players to the football club and Jordan didn't see where he could fit in.

"When he is in the form he showed (against Crusaders), it showed he's got all the attributes to be a top player."

Of course, one swallow or wonder goal doesn't make a season, he'll need to keep showing that form on a regular basis, and if he does, he is still young enough to maybe get that second tilt at full-time football. In the meantime though, having kissed and made up, this feisty affair involving Jordan may have a happier ending.

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