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Young at art

The debuts handed out to teenage talents Michael Morgan and Sean Moore in Tuesday night’s County Antrim Shield defeat of Bangor represent the latest development in a season of continued progress for Cliftonville Olympic.

Marc Smyth’s youthful squad bears little resemblance to that which won the 2019/20 Premiership Development League title as the Club strives to provide a pathway towards the senior team for our most promising young stars.

The Olympic – whose 1-0 win over their Larne counterparts on Monday night saw them climb above their hosts into fourth place in the table – suffered a penalty shootout defeat to Wakehurst in last weekend’s Intermediate Cup clash and return to action with a home game against Ballymena United Reserves next Wednesday.

Table-topping Cliftonville Strollers, meanwhile, tackle Linfield Rangers at New Midgley Park this evening as they bid to maintain their unbeaten start to the Academy Under-18 season, with our Under-16s – who sit three points off the summit with a game in hand – in action against the Blues at the same venue tomorrow morning.

Though the senior Ladies’ season may have ended earlier this month, Nick Casey’s Under-16s kick off the Electric Ireland Girls’ Challenge Cup with a home tie against Rosario Ladies tonight for the right to host Ballymena in next Friday’s quarter-final.