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Cliftonville's young stars like Calvin McCurry can be huge success story, says Donnelly

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Cliftonville's rising star Calvin McCurry.

Cliftonville's rising star Calvin McCurry.

©INPHO/PressEye.com/Jonathan Po

Cliftonville's rising star Calvin McCurry.

Cliftonville legend Mickey Donnelly says the club's talented young players will be given a chance but they must remain patient.

The cut and thrust of the Danske Bank Premiership isn't an easy environment for a young player to find his feet.

But Donnelly, the Reds' head of elite player development, says rising stars are getting the right guidance and encouragement.

There's now a strong emphasis on youth development at Solitude and Donnelly feels a few youngsters can keep the likes of Joe Gormley on their toes.

"Joe's mum goes to the matches and I told her I had the replacement for your Joe which is Calvin (McCurry)," said the former Cliftonville skipper.

"Joe is talking and you need to have the senior players guiding the younger ones.

"I was a captain for the players and sometimes negotiated on their behalf.

"I tried to look after them on and off the pitch.

"When I first came back to Cliftonville I didn't get that buzz. It took me a few months to get back into things and I love it.

"We have young lads breaking through like Calvin and Odhrán Casey.

"If the players keep their head down and work hard they can be a big success.

"You have to want to become a better player and make sacrifices. When your mates are going out you have to sit in sometimes.

"You can't play a match when you're not fit. You need hunger and patience.

"If you're good enough, Paddy (McLaughlin) will play you and the fans must always be patient too."

Cliftonville trio Dylan Snoddon, Odhrán Casey and Peter McKiernan have all featured for Northern Ireland's Under-18 Schoolboys.

Belfast Telegraph