Teenage midfielder Kym Nelson hoping to get final nod

Glentoran teenager Kym Nelson
Glentoran teenager Kym Nelson

Kym Nelson has mixed emotions when asked to reflect on Glentoran’s Irish Cup success of 2013.

The Oval youngster was due to attend the showpiece clash against Cliftonville at Windsor Park – but was laid up at home with an ice pack and crutches.

Nelson had torn ankle ligaments in a reserve team game two days before the final, robbing him of the chance to watch the Glens triumph in south Belfast.

“I had been playing for the reserves on the Thursday night before the final and I tore the ligaments in my ankle,” Nelson recalls.

“I was meant to go to the final but ended up watching it in the house. I was on crutches and had my leg up with ice on it.

“I was on my own in the house while the rest of my family were at the game.

“I remember watching the game and just thinking, ‘that’s what I want’.”

Ballybeen native Nelson admits it would be a dream to step out against Portadown at The Oval on Saturday.

“This is my first full season in the first team and it is a dream to even be in the reckoning for the Irish Cup final,” the 19-year-old added.

“I have supported Glentoran all my life.

“I came into the Glens at Under 16s level. Before that I was with Dungoyne.

“I am 19 now and this season has been tough. But I am getting used to it.

“I am in midfield and it is a battle most weeks, but I enjoy it.”

Nelson made his first-team debut in a massive ‘Big Two’ derby in front of the Sky Sport cameras.

The date was February 21 last year when the teenager stepped up to Premiership level in a 1-0 defeat to the Blues at The Oval.

“I will never forget the Sky game against Linfield,” Nelson added.

“We had a few suspensions and injuries, and Eddie asked me to report at the ground.

“When I arrived he told me I was playing, and that was it. I didn’t even have a name on my shirt that night. But I haven’t looked back since then.”