Belfast Telegraph

Warren Feeney launches last attempt to bring Cushley to Linfield

By David Mason

Linfield will today make a take-it-or-leave-it £15,000 bid for Ballymena United midfielder David Cushley.

The 23-year-old, who has one year remaining on his contract at the Showgrounds, has been on the Blues' radar for some time, in spite of the fact that Sky Blues boss Glenn Ferguson, who has added Willie Faulkner, Mark Magennis and Nathan Hanley to his squad over the summer, has insisted his star man will be "going nowhere".

A £10,000 bid has already been rejected by United chairman John Taggart.

Cushley played a part in goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson's testimonial match on Tuesday night when the Sky Blues rolled out the welcome mat to a Rangers XI, managed by Ibrox idol Ian Durrant.

But Linfield will make one last attempt to lure the former Lisburn Distillery player to Windsor Park.

Cushley, the winner of last season's Northern Ireland Football Writers' Association Goal of the Season award, will become a free agent in January and would be eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement with Warren Feeney's team.

Feeney's immediate priority is tonight's rematch with Spartak Trnava in the Europa League at Windsor Park (7.45pm).

The Blues trail 2-1 from last week's game in Slovakia.

New signing David Kee got the Belfast side's valuable away goal with a superb free-kick.

Defender Sean Ward returns to the squad, though Stephen Lowry is suspended.

Former Northern Ireland striker Feeney is quietly confident his boys can reach the third qualifying round where Lokomotiv Zagreb from Croatia or Greek side PAOK await.

"We have a fantastic chance," said Feeney. "But they will be confident as well. It's still a big ask for us as they are a very good side.

"We will aim to give a good account of ourselves and hopefully get a good result. I know they lost a league game at the weekend but they will be looking to bounce back from that and they are still a fantastic team with quality players.

"I still think they will be full of confidence and will come with a gameplan. We will have ours but it will be a difficult test and they are firm favourites.

"From day one we have been the underdogs and they have been firm favourites over both legs but I'm quietly confident we can put on a good show and get a positive result.

"I'd like to see the Linfield fans in full voice and make it an intimidating atmosphere. It can help our players.

"I don't like celebrating defeats but it was a magnificent performance out there and we were unlucky to lose it."

Former Linfield and Glentoran striker Mark Miskimmin has joined Carrick Rangers. The Premiership new boys have also added goalkeeper Chris Keenan to their squad.

Belfast Telegraph


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