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Premiership

EARLY TRANSFER ACTIVITY AS THE WINDOW OPENS

05 Jan 2022
football
© Ciaran Culligan/INPHO Sean Murray is one of three new arrivals at Glentoran

The January transfer window may only have just opened but a number of clubs have already dabbled in some early wheeling and dealing as we go into the second half of the season.

Indeed, Glentoran wasted no time in securing the services of no fewer than three new players even before the window opened. Manager Mick McDermott moved quickly to bring Darren Cole, Michael O'Connor and Sean Murray who all plied their trade in the recently completed League of Ireland campaign.

28-year-old Murray joins from Dundalk, during which time he picked up Championship, FAI Cup and League Cup winners medals in his three years at Oriel Park. Prior to that he bagged 14 goals in 85 appearances for Watford.

Cole (29) arrives from Derry City after making just short of 100 league outings for the Candystripes since making the switch from Livingston in 2017. Prior to that the Scot had been with Greenock Morton, Partick Thistle and Rangers.

O'Connor (23), who helped Shelbourne to promotion and joins big brother Ciaran at the BetMcLean Oval, is no stranger to the Danske Bank Premiership having previously spent some time with Linfield in addition to Waterford, Shamrock Rovers and Ross County.

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© Warrenpoint Town FC Barry Gray with new signings Dylan Hand and Daniel McKenna

Warrenpoint Town boss Barry Gray has also raided the League of Ireland to bring in three new faces in Dylan Hand, Daniel McKenna and Adam Wixted.

The trio all spent last season with Athlone Town. Wixted, 26, scored three times in 21 appearances and was formerly on the books of Drogheda United, Sligo Rovers, Bray Wanderers and Bohemians.

Hand, a 22-year-old defender, clocked up 25 outings during the 2021 campaign and has also spent time with Longford Town and Dundalk. McKenna, also 22, made in excess of 20 appearances in midfield and can count Shelbourne and Bray Wanderers amongst his former clubs.

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© Stephen Hamilton/PressEye Howard Beverland in action during his Crusaders days

Three is also the magic number for Portadown. Matthew Tipton has acted quickly to bring Howard Beverland, Jamal Dupree and Jack Smith to Shamrock Park.

Beverland, arriving from Championship side Ballyclare Comrades, needs no introduction following a distinguished career in defence with Coleraine and Crusaders with whom he collected league and cup honours.

Dupree makes the move north from Waterford and had previously spent time in the United States on a scholarship deal.

In addition, the 24-year-old was a former graduate of Linfield's academy set-up as was Smith, also 24, who spent time with Crusaders and Carrick Rangers before a successful spell in the Northern Amateur League with Derriaghy CC.