Cliftonville boss Tommy Breslin has hailed the “meteoric rise” of Joe Gormley after the striker was named Ulster Footballer of the Year.
Gormley claimed the prestigious trophy – awarded each year by Castlereagh Glentoran Supporters’ Club – ahead of teammate Liam Boyce and Linfield defender Sean Ward.
The 24-year-old has scored an incredible 37 goals this term – breaking Cliftonville’s club record of most goals in a season.
The staggering tally also helped the Reds clinch back-to-back titles, with the Gibson Cup set to be presented after Saturday’s final game with Crusaders at Solitude.
Breslin believes Gormley deserves all the plaudits for the stellar progress he has made since arriving from Amateur League side Crumlin Star three years ago.
“Joe fully deserves this award – I really can’t speak highly enough of him,” Breslin said.
“When you consider his performances this season, and the amount of goals he has scored, then I don’t think anyone could deny Joe this award.
“He was superb last season, but I think a lot of people wondered if Joe would be a one season wonder.
“Well, I think he has provided the answer this year.
“He has scored 37 goals already, and he has another game to go on Saturday. He has broken the club record of most goals in a season which is simply sensational.”
Breslin is confident Gormley will continue to improve – a prediction that will instil fear into Cliftonville’s title rivals.
“He is improving all the time, and there is more to come,” Breslin added.
“His touch, his movement and his finishing have all improved.
“He has enjoyed a meteoric rise since coming to the club, and he will continue to flourish.”
Meanwhile, David Jeffrey will take charge of Linfield for the final time when the Blues travel to Glenavon on Saturday afternoon.
Jeffrey is set to stand down after today’s game at Mourneview Park.
Also in Section A of the Premiership Portadown entertain Glentoran.
In Section B Ballymena United host basement club Ards, Dungannon Swifts travel to Coleraine, and Warrenpoint Town and Ballinamallard United meet at Milltown.