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Young looks to the future as axe looms at the Oval

Glentoran play their last game of the season tomorrow — and for a number of players it is set to be the last time they pull on the shirt.

The east-Belfast men take on Cliftonville, with second place in the table still in sight, but for some it is likely to be an emotional occasion.

Nine players are out of contract and though scattered amongst that are some youngsters whose futures may still be up for discussion, there are others whose time at the club may have come to an end.

Manager Scott Young has refused to name who will or won’t be receiving a new deal — a fair approach bearing in mind that there is still a game to be won and the players have yet to be told themselves.

But, if speculation is to believed, some who have served the club well could be making their final appearance.

Michael Halliday — a man who in years to come will rightly be regarded as a Glentoran great — is coming to the end of his contract

Having spent a lot of time on the bench over the last couple of seasons, the boyhood Glenman, with over a decade of service to his name and a number of goals that clinched silverware for the east-Belfast men, could find himself looking for a new club.

And you would expect that he wouldn’t have to wait too long to get a phone call from prospective suitors with Crusaders and Ballymena United already believed to be waiting in the wings to swoop for the 31-year-old striker.

The apparent swoop for Neal Gawley from Lisburn Distillery, earmarked to play on the left of midfield, would appear to spell the end for Kyle Neill, who in his four seasons at the Oval has scored some hugely important goals.

Neill was signed by Paul Millar at the same time as Gary Hamilton and his goals from midfield, set-pieces in particular, proved vital at times.

Dean Fitzgerald is another, who like Neill, made an impact in a relatively short space of time.

He was brought in, in what was regarded as the twilight of his career, but provided class and strength in the middle of the park and became a cult figure at the Oval among fans.

Among the others reaching the end of their current deals, it is believed that Keith Gillespie will be offered a new contract but with money very tight, it will be on reduced terms than when he signed in the summer.

It is expected that Ryan Berry, who has been on loan at Coagh United will be leaving and probably Peter Steele, too.

Belfast Telegraph