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Rocks suffers setback

Cliftonville Football Club offers support and best wishes to Donal Rocks following the reocurrence of the anterior cruciate ligament injury he first suffered a year ago.

Everyone at Solitude shares in the 21-year-old midfielder’s disappointment but, having witnessed first hand how hard he has worked over the last 12 months, we are in no doubt that he can battle back to fitness and we will, of course, support him throughout his rehabilitation process.

Another player who suffered an ACL tear last summer was striker Calvin McCurry and supporters will have noted with delight his involvement in pre-season fixtures, culminating in a goal in last night’s friendly victory over Portadown.

Fans will no doubt remember that Paddy McLaughlin’s panel suffered a raft of long-term injuries during the 2020/21 season and, though the likes of Levi Ives and Joe Gormley made returns from lengthy absences in the closing weeks of the campaign, the same period saw defenders Garry Breen and Ryan O’Reilly struck down by Achilles injuries and both – like Paul O’Neill, who recently underwent surgery on a knee complaint – will remain on the sidelines throughout the opening months of the forthcoming term.

Thomas Maguire, who was struck down by a broken fibula in the early weeks of a loan spell with Warrenpoint Town, will remain at Milltown for the first half of the 2021/22 season following his recuperation.

As preparations continue for the return of Danske Bank Premiership action, the Club can also confirm that Liam Bagnall and Conor McDermott have indicated a necessity to take a step back from football and this is being facilitated while, having been informed he is not in the Manager’s plans, Michael McCrudden has not been involved in pre-season and is likewise unavailable for selection at this time.