Ross County F.C. announced today that they have extended the contracts of forwards Liam Boyce and Craig Curran until the summer of 2017. Both players are among the most industrious ever to wear County’s colors and in the second half of the season both players have turned their work rates into regular goal scoring which has boosted County to the verge of safety from relegation and another year in the Scottish Premier League.
Boyce, 24, joined the club at the beginning of the season after leaving Cliftonville F.C. in his native Northern Ireland. Though he struggled initially to make the transition from part-time to full-time football, his work ethic was never in question and once he found his fitness his hard work and finishing ability shone through and it became clear why he had become such a feared striker in the initial years of his career. To this point in the season he has 8 goals in 28 matches, most of those coming after Jim McIntyre replaced Derek Adams as manager.
Curran, a native of Liverpool, had long spells with Tranmere Rovers and Carlisle United at the beginning of his career, but before joining County it looked as though he was on his way to becoming a 25 year old journeyman, having had stints at Morecambe, Rochdale, Chester, and Limerick before landing in the fifth tier of English football with Nuneaton Town F.C.. Curran was clearly looking to reestablish himself as a footballer and County were willing to take a chance on him- it worked out for both parties. In just under half a season with County Curran has scored 5 goals in 15 matches.
While it is important that County re-signed these two players, it is just as important that both wanted to remain with the club. Both have played well with County and certainly would have had other offers, perhaps better ones, and certainly ones in less remote places than Dingwall. It speaks well of chairman Roy McGregor and Jim McIntyre and his staff that they have created an atmosphere that appeals to players and that they have been willing to loosen their grip on the club’s purse strings to make sure that they can offer competitive wages and competitive contract lengths.
County won’t be able to hold on to all of the players that have turned the club’s season around since January, but going forward it would be wonderful to hear that Raffa De Vita, Jamie Reckord, and Ben Frempah have received extensions. It would be almost as nice to hear that Paul Quinn, Martin Woods, and Marcus Fraser had re-upped. And if Michael Gardyne and Jackson Irvine could shed their “loan” labels and rejoin the club on a permanent basis that would be outstanding as well.
Even if only half of this group of players (and why not throw Filip Kiss in there as well?!) were to come back next season County would enter the 2015-2016 with the most “Premiership ready” roster in their history.
Ross County also announced that Kyle MacLeod, a 19 year old striker on the club’s developmental squad, has also been signed for a further two years.