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Skipper stays

Cliftonville Football Club are delighted to announce that Chris Curran has this evening signed a new contract at Solitude.

Ten years to the week since the captain first joined the Reds, the 32-year-old – who has made 404 appearances in the decade since his move from Ballinamallard United – expressed his pleasure at putting pen to paper under the watchful eye of new Manager Jim Magilton.

“Since the new management team have come in, I think we’re getting to a place where we’re now ready to get back to work,” he explained.

“That breeds confidence among everybody and, in terms of my own situation, it’s nice to get it over the line. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here for 10 years and it’s an old cliche but it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster over that period – but I wouldn’t swap it for anything. I’ve absolutely no regrets about coming to Cliftonville, it’s been an unbelievable experience and hopefully that can now continue.

“I think a bad finish to last season put a really bad spin on what was overall probably not a bad year. There were lots of ups and downs, and it obviously finished on a downer but there were also some really good highs and we were in really good positions at certain times, so I think you just have to take the positives out of it and I think we do still have a really strong playing squad that we’ll be looking to take forward into this season.

“I’m looking forward to working with Jim and that’s all part of the excitement of a new season coming round the corner. The countdown to a new season is always exciting and getting this deal signed means I can start properly looking forward to getting back into things.”

Boss Magilton commented: “Getting Chris signed up was always one of the first things I wanted to do and I’m delighted we’ve done it.

“What you get with Chris is a wealth of experience and quality. At 32, I still think he has so much to offer and he’ll also play a big part in the dressing room for us because, as someone who leads by example, he will be able to deal with all aspects of what we’re going to throw at him and the players.

“As well as being a team leader and someone I know I can rely on out on the pitch, Chris is also a calming influence in the dressing room. He leads by example and his actions speak louder than words, which is exactly what I like.

“We’re all built differently and we all bring different qualities to not only leadership but also in your play. Chris is someone I’ve always admired from afar. He’s someone that has won things here, he’s experienced that, he’s played in top Cliftonville sides and will be a huge influence on our younger players.”

The Club, meanwhile, extends thanks to Aaron Traynor, Gerard Doherty and David Parkhouse following their departures.

Traynor made 12 appearances after joining from Coleraine last summer, while loanee Parkhouse – who has returned to parent side Ballymena United – and fellow January arrival Doherty featured 17 and two times, respectively, with everyone at Solitude wishing the trio well for the future.