Belfast Telegraph

New Glentoran coaching staff announce several player departures

By Adam McKendry

Only a day after officially taking over at the club, the new Glentoran coaching staff have revealed that several players will be leaving the club with immediate effect.

Irish League veteran Ronnie McFall will stay on at The Oval as manager, with former Glens players Gary Smyth joining as an assistant and Paul Leeman helping work with the development pathways.

And their first act has been to cull the playing squad dramatically, with seven players confirmed to be leaving the club and four more made available for transfer.

Jonathan Addis and James Knowles, who are already known to be going to Ballymena United, have been confirmed as departing The Oval, with Jonathan Smith and Kym Nelson also leaving at the conclusion of their contracts.

The trio of Alex O'Hanlon, Aaron Harmon and Tre Sterling have also come to the end of their deals with the east Belfast club and have been informed they will not be offered new ones, making them free agents.

On top of that, Eoghan McCawl, Tiarnan McNicholl, Corey McMullan and Conall Delaney have all been made available for transfer as McFall aims to reduce his squad dramatically before the start of pre-season.

"The squad at Glentoran is far too big and unwieldy. No Irish League club can operate with that many professionals," McFall said.

"I’ve discussed this with the new management team and we all agree that we want a smaller, more effective squad. That way we get to work much more effectively with the players we have while also providing opportunities for younger players to make the step up into the first team.

"That has always been the Glentoran way – Gary and Paul are perfect example of that – but the club has moved far too far away from that in recent years. We’re trying to establish the basis of previous successful Glentoran squads we’ve been part of and all our work over the summer will reflect that.

"The squad will be more fully reviewed once we’re back for pre-season so there may be other departures at that point."

McFall also paid tribute to the attitude of the departing Jonny Addis, who will link up with Ballymena for the new campaign having agreed a deal with them before the end of last season.

"Jonny had signed for Ballymena before Kieran and I came in but he showed a high level of commitment right though to the last game of the season despite knowing he was going. He deserves our respect for doing so," McFall concluded.

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