For the fans amongst us, we knew this was about to happen. A transfer frenzy in June. The first of June and the clubs have started to sign players; players would be released from contracts and players that can’t get a club in England would end up in Larne. It has all started to happen. Clubs counting wages to keep the financial fair play police away. I do wonder how that works within the league? Seems they can balance their wage bills better than a 40ft high crane’s counterweight. Personally, the league needs to tighten it up. Make it fair for everyone. They have tried with the hideous Europa League playoff. To give clubs an opportunity of getting the golden Euros. Well, get to grips with third-party entities paying wages. Make the game fair for everyone.
I start my weekly transfer round-up with the champions Linfield. And why not! This week saw the departure for me the best goalkeeper in the league, even at 41 years old, Roy Carroll. Big Roy announced this week he would be leaving the Blues after not being offered a new contract. Would I take him at the Crues? Of course. Look at the impact he has had, and look at the impact the beast Brian Jensen had at the Crues at the age of 42. They are leaders, control the back four. The Irish league is easy for them to read.
The Blues this week pulled off a wonderful transfer. The signing of Northern Ireland Under-21 International Shayne Lavery from Everton on a one-year deal. Lavery has also one full international cap to his name and comes to the Blues with a good pedigree. This will be a good stepping stone for Lavery. With a year at home, and some game time will see him surely move back across the water to England to fulfil his potential.
The big movers this week, have been Cliftonville. Ryan Curran had signed a new long-term deal to keep him at the club. One of the stand out performers for the Reds last season netting 16 goals in all competitions. Coming into the Reds this week is on-loan Derry City right back Conor McDermott. The 21-year-old signs on a one-year loan deal. Reports that Ruairi Harkin and Brian Neeson have both been released, but what is confirmed that long-serving defender Jamie McGovern will be moving on.
It has been a quiet week along the Shore Road. One big talking point for Crusaders is the release of Michael Carvill. Carvill spent the second half of last season on loan at Dungannon Swifts and has left the club by mutual consent.
Over to the leagues’ big spenders. Another season and another English player that must have been finding it hard finding a club to pay him at home. This time Larne have moved to sign ex-Arsenal midfielder Mark Randell. Randell now 29, made nine appearances for the Arsenal first team back in 2008. Good pedigree? He has also been around different clubs. MK Dons, Chesterfield and Crawley Town. So, the attraction of a full-time contract in a semi-professional league in Ulster was too good to turn down. The Inver men also tied up another English import, Ben Tilney for another two years.
Carrick Rangers again this week have been busy in the transfer market. Kyle Cherry has returned to Taylors Avenue after being released from Ards, and they have also secured the services of ex-Queens University defender James Ferrin.
Dungannon Swifts have moved quickly to tie up the signature of Ards defender Callum Byers. The centre-back joins the Swifts after having a decent season even after getting relegated. The Swifts will be hoping he fills the gap left by the departed Chris Hegarty.
Away from the off-field issues at the Oval. This week saw Lukasz Gwaiazda leaving Glentoran and returning to Harland & Wolf Welders. Should be an interesting and exciting few weeks ahead for all the supporters at the Glens who will be hoping lady luck is right back on their side. Ards’ Jonny Frazer has signed a pre-contract and will join next week. The Glens have also secured the services of Cameron Stewart from the Blues.
I will keep this short and sweet, and to the point. The Reds Michael McGovern should this week sign for Larne. This looks a certain transfer in the making along with Jonny McMurray who has been released by Ballymena United. Aaron Jarvis should link up again with his old manager Paddy McLaughlin at Cliftonville. One that I can see coming in the next few weeks will be that of Rory Patterson. Clearly not happy at the lack of game time last season and behind Jordan Owens and Ronan Hale for the striking spot, I can see Patterson moving on to get first-team football.
It’s been busy few days and looks like it could be a busy month. Players wanting away, demanding more, and investments about to drop. This is going to be one of the busiest months for the Danske Bank Premiership.