Glentoran 2 Lisburn Distillery 1
Young Players have been given a reality check and they've taken it on board — that's the view of Glentoran boss Scott Young who has admitted that there has been a sea change in the mentality of local footballers in terms of what they feel they are worth.
A new salary cap will be brought into the Carling Premiership soon, meaning that clubs can no longer fork out large sums of money to players which they simply cannot afford.
Glentoran have been one of the biggest culprits of this kind of unstable financial management but they, like everyone else, are now getting things in check.
There was a fear that it may take a while for players, who have got it too good, for too long, to fathom that clubs can no longer afford to meet their unrealistic demands, but Young says he has found that the lack of cash has finally dawned on them.
Speaking after Saturday's 2-1 win over Lisburn Distillery at the Oval, before which he signed a new one-year rolling contract of his own, Young said: “Those days are gone and it's for the benefit of Irish League football because there were too many clubs living beyond their means and it has to be this way.
“The players have taken that on board. You will always get people who think they should be getting more money than what they have done but people have to remember that this is part-time. The crowds aren't there that were there 10 years ago even, the standard of play isn't what it used to be. The players have no right to demand big money nowadays.
“So I think there is a realisation amongst the players, not just at this football club but all football clubs, that the gravy train has stopped.”
One player who did his chances of staying at the Oval no harm was Andy Waterworth whose performance after coming off the bench against his old club, lit up a drab game.
He scored within three minutes of coming on, then set up Peter Steele in the final minute.
Glenn Ferguson scored a late consolation for Distillery, whose boss Tommy Wright said: “We want to get that fifth place and have something to play for and keep the season alive.
“I see people complaining about the split. Do we bring more teams into the league and get Linfield and Glentoran to play each other twice a season — isn't going to happen. I think the split will be here to stay.
“We want Glentoran coming to us twice and Linfield coming to us twice a season.”