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Grime up north

Shane Grimes says he’s enjoying the challenges presented by life in the Danske Bank Premiership as Cliftonville prepare to take on Ballymena United this evening.

Until his January arrival at Solitude, the 31-year-old had played the entirety of his career in the League of Ireland, representing hometown side Dundalk, Monaghan and Drogheda United – but was instantly impressed with the talent of his new team-mates.

“You’re always eager to go to a new League and a new challenge,” says Grimes.

“You’re looking to see if you’re able and up to it. I’ve spent a lot of time in the south and, at the end of day, you can’t beat a new challenge to overcome and prove you’re up for it.

“There is serious quality within the squad. I’ve only be here a while but I can see it. We’ve Jay Donnelly, Rory Donnelly, Joe Gormley, Chris Curran, Stephen Garrett – serious attacking quality within the squad and young Ross Lavery as well.

“They are technically very good and on our day we are a match for anyone in this League, we’ve proved it.”

You can read the full Grimes interview in tonight’s edition of our Matchday Magazine, which will be on sale at Solitude for £2.50.

Alongside boss Barry Gray’s pre-game views, The Red Eye’s 23rd issue of the season chronicles Cliftonville’s history of abandoned matches – the most recent of which was, of course, January’s clash with Ballymena – and reflects on the Sky Blues’ season, as well as stepping 14, 36 and 121 years back down memory lane, plus plenty more besides.

Our Matchday Magazine has attained a top-three position in the NI Football Programme Collectors’ annual awards poll for the last six seasons so, if you’re not a regular reader, why not take a look at what you’ve been missing out on?

Though no entrance fees will be charged for supporters of either team, Cliftonville Football Club will still face standard running costs to host the fixture and, to help with the covering of these expenses, would be grateful if fans – whether in attendance at the January 2 abandonment or not – could pay a visit to the Social Club, make a purchase at The Reds Shop or snap up a copy of The Red Eye. Your assistance, just like your support for the team, would be very much appreciated.

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