McCartan among eight players released by Glentoran

Record signing Shay McCartan is among eight players released by Glentoran upon the expiry of their contracts the club have announced.

McCartan, who won two caps for Northern Ireland, arrived at the Glens from Ballymena in August 2021 and made over 100 appearances for the club.

He joins the likes of goalkeepers Aaron McCarey and Ollie Webber, defenders Aidan Wilson and former Northern Ireland international Luke McCullough, midfielder Bobby Burns and forwards Rory Donnelly and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe in being released.

Webber and Junior were signed by former manager Warren Feeney in the summer whilst Donnelly, who won the Irish Cup with the east Belfast side, spent the second half of this season on loan with Championship side Newington.

Seanan Clucas and Rhys Marshall have also left the club, with the former signing for Carrick Rangers and latter returning to Glenavon.

Glentoran had a disappointing domestic campaign, finishing fifth in the Irish Premiership and losing 3-0 to Coleraine in the European play-off semi-final.

Former player Declan Devine was appointed as permanent manager after taking over from Feeney in March.

In a statement on the club's website about the departures, Devine said: "I knew when I came in here that we would have a major rebuilding programme this summer. The end of the season confirmed that.

"These departures will create space for us to bring in players who can put the club on the right path next season."

Clarke and Stewart leave Linfield

Elsewhere, Linfield have confirmed that long-serving defender Matthew Clarke and forward Jordan Stewart have left the club after their contracts expired.

During his 11 years with the Blues, Clarke made 411 appearances winning five Irish Premiership titles, two Irish Cups, three League Cups and two County Antrim Shields.

Stewart, who was plagued by injury during his seven seasons at the club, won four Gibson Cups, an Irish Cup and three League Cups.

He spent the end of the 2023 season on loan at Glenavon.

Both players made their final appearance for the club as substitutes in Saturday's Irish Cup final defeat by Cliftonville.