Belfast Telegraph

Boyce goals can make Cliftonville so hot

By Graham Luney

Liam Boyce is the man who can fire Cliftonville to title glory.

That’s the view of his team-mate Martin Donnelly as Cliftonville plot another assault on the Gibson Cup.

The Reds challenge fell away last season but the north Belfast side might have given Linfield a run for their money if Swansea City had not swooped for starlet Rory Donnelly.

Cliftonville played some stunning football in the last campaign and a County Antrim Shield triumph was a significant reward for their efforts.

Linfield left Solitude with their tails between their legs on a few occasions but now the challenge for Tommy Breslin’s men is to sustain a title challenge.

And winger Donnelly believes goal-getter Boyce is the key piece in their jigsaw.

“I would say Liam Boyce could be our star man,” said Donnelly.

“Last year I didn’t think he was fit enough and needed games but this year he has got a good pre-season under his belt and he is looking bang in form. I can’t wait to see him this year.

“Everyone has the same aspirations — you want to win the league and if we can manage it I don’t know, but last season we did really well.

“Winning 15 games on the bounce was a great achievement but then Rory (Donnelly) leaving us didn’t help.

“But what happened to him is a reminder to the players of what can happen if you take your chance.

“Hopefully, following a few additions to the squad, we can do even better.

“Apart from the European blip when we lost 4-0 we have been doing very well in pre-season.”

Donnelly is loving life at Solitude and feels privileged to play for the club he supported as a boy.

“Once I made the move (from Crusaders) I haven’t looked back, it’s been unbelievable,” he added.

“I supported the club so every time I score a goal or set one up I celebrate like one of the fans.”

--

Portadown kick off the Danske Bank Premiership on a high after retaining the services of Kevin Braniff.

Braniff signed a contract extension which the Ports say will “keep him at Shamrock Park for the rest of his career.”

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph