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Ryan high

Ryan Curran has already seen one ambition realised before he’s even kicked a ball for Cliftonville.

The 24-year-old joined from Ballinamallard United earlier this month and admitted that, though a move to the Reds was a long-held ambition, joining a Club with European aspirations made his decision all the more straightforward.

“Playing in Europe is a big thing for me and for any player,” he says.

“I’m coming to Cliftonville now and I can’t wait to be a part of things here. There were quite a few Clubs who wanted me, which was nice from a personal point of view, and I had a few options available but, as soon as Barry Gray said he was interested in signing me, my mind was made up.”

After attending the Tennent’s Irish Cup Final defeat to Coleraine, Curran was paraded to the fans at half-time of the Europa League Play-Off Semi Final victory over Ballymena United last week and was at Solitude to see his new team-mates book their passport to the continent in Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 defeat of Glentoran.

“Cliftonville have played in Europe quite regularly over the last lot of years and that was one of the appeals of coming here,” he adds.

“When I signed, there was still the Irish Cup Final to come and the Play-Offs were there as well if that didn’t work out but I was always confident Cliftonville would get there one way or the other and it will be great to be coming into training for European football.”