McClean to focus on playing for Reds

Stuart McClean
Stuart McClean

Stuart McClean’s decision to resume his playing career with Ballyclare Comrades means changes in the club’s backroom staff.

The veteran midfielder is one of a select group of players who have made over 300 appearances with the Reds, but recently he has concentrated on coaching duties with Gary Bell.

However, increased work commitments have forced him to relinquish his coaching role, and he will now concentrate on cementing his place in the team.

As reported in the Times, his replacement is Ross Oliver, who has IFA coaching badges.

“Stuart McClean has been a tremendous servant to Ballyclare Comrades,” said manager, Eddie Hill, “and his decision to concentrate on playing this season will be like signing a new player.

“During the past season he filled in on quite a number of occasions, and he could always be guaranteed to put in a good shift. He will be pushing for a regular spot in the engine room, despite competition from some younger players.”

The Reserves will also continue to be in good hands under Stephen Hughes who is well on his way to achieving his IFA Grade B coaching award.

He has just completed the first stage of the grade B programme and is already working on the second stage, which should lead to the higher award at the end of the season.

Hughes attended the Ballymena League dinner at the weekend at the Michelin Club, where he collected the Junior League Division 1 Manager of the Year award, while striker Mark Conn lifted the Young Player of the Year trophy.