Cliftonville star Liam Boyce’s German deal off
Liam Boyce’s proposed move to German side SpVgg Greuther appears doomed — and that’s bad news for Crusaders who will encounter him at Seaview tonight.
The young Solitude starlet will play in the north-Belfast derby as the Bundesliga 2 side have failed to finalise a written agreement with the Reds, in response to a deadline set by the north-Belfast club.
It could be a warning to Boyce’s admirers to ‘put up or shut up’ but at the moment the player’s dream transfer is dead.
That means fans at Seaview tonight will witness two of the best young players in the country strutting their stuff.
While Boyce has won admirers in the Carling Premiership and further afield, Crues starlet Stuart Dallas (below) is doing well for the Reds’ neighbours.
“Young Liam has come on leaps and bounds over the last 12 months,” said Crues boss Stephen Baxter.
“He looks a player and in Stuart Dallas you have got an emerging talent. He is just coming out of junior football into senior football and it will take him six months to a season for him to find his feet.
“He has produced good performances but or course everyone is judged on what you do consistently over the course of the season.
“So he has to work hard at his game and wherever his football destiny will be will be determined by his talent.
“We’ll see how he develops, while Liam (Boyce) has developed his talent over a period of time and he deserves a chance at the very highest end of the game so good luck to him if a move comes off.”
Baxter added: “You always look forward to a north-Belfast derby because the atmosphere is good and I think both teams play in a similar way.
“Both teams have been competing well in previous seasons which gives the game an added flavour.
“Cliftonville have been there or thereabouts at the top of the table for the last few seasons, as we have been, so we are all trying to improve.”
Cliftonville chairman Gerard Lawlor explained why the Boyce deal collapsed.
“We set a deadline for the paperwork but we have received nothing,” said Lawlor. “We are now working on the assumption that it will not arrive. There have been promises all week, but nothing has been forthcoming.”
Crues midfielder Ryan McCann is suspended for tonight’s clash and supporters will hope for a less controversial affair than the last north-Belfast derby at Seaview when referee Adrian McCourt showed six red cards! With Boyce and Dallas on the pitch, there is every chance the beautiful game will take centre stage.