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Brawley And O'Donnell Join Clyde

By Gordon Thomson
Thu, 30th Jun 2005 12:00am

Clyde boss Graham Roberts made further progress today in the strengthening the club prior to the big kick off. His latest acquisitions are Stephen O'Donnell and Billy Brawley.
Both appear to represent the qualities that Roberts is determined to bring to the club as he rebuilds: youth and hunger.

Stephen O'Donnell
Twenty-two year old Stephen O'Donnell (pictured above left) has had considerable experience already in his career. When only just turned eighteen, Stephen was included in the Scotland Under 20 squad for the Northern Ireland Milk Cup tournament in July 200, having previously been capped at Under 16 level.

Stephen, a right-winger or midfielder, is the nephew of Phil O'Donnell, the ex-Well, Celtic and once again Motherwell player. He made his first-team debut for Dundee United on 23 March 2002 against Hibs at Tannadice and gave what his manager Alex Smith described as "an encouraging display".

In season 2002/03, Stephen began to establish himself as a first team squad regular for United. He made a sensational first appearance of the season when he scored a hat-trick in a September CIS Cup Second Round tie at Tannadice as United hammered Queen's Park 4-1. At the end of the 2002/03 season Stephen had made a total of twenty appearances, scoring four goals.

However that seemed to be the peak of Stephen's Tannadice career and at the end of November 2003 he chose to follow the Tangerines ex-boss Alex Smith and former United colleagues Jamie McCunnie, David Hannah and David Winters to Dingwall when he was loaned out to Ross County to the completion of the 2003-04 season. He made a total of twenty-five appearances for County, scoring three goals, one of which was against the Bully Wee at Broadwood!

On 26 October 2004 it was announced that Stephen was to spend a week "on trial" with Boston United, hoping to impress Pilgrims manager Steve Evans. Up until that point in the 2004-5 season Stephen had not featured at all in the United first team, despite being able to play in a host of positions.

In January 2005, just as the Scottish Premier League transfer window was closing, he was transferred to Boston United where he joined up with former Clyde Striker Stevie Evans, whom he had greatly impressed durig the October trial. He was released on 5 May 2005 at the end of his short contract.

Billy Brawley
Billy Brawley is another younger player who has an SPL background.

He started his career with Motherwell and quickly graduated through the Fir Park youth set-up, playing in the Claret and Amber's Under 21 side when he was still eligible for the Under 18s.

The busy midfielder was then unfortunate to be one of the 'Well players whose contract was terminated during the Fir Park club's sad slide into administration. Brawley subsequently moved to Thistle on 21 June 2002 but failed to make the breakthrough whilst at Firhill. However he appeared to have rediscovered his confidence whilst playing with Selkirk in the East of Scotland League and greatly impressed Graham Roberts in the last fortnight.

"I believe both players to be outstanding prospects. I have high hopes for Stephen. He will provide us with great skill going forward. Billy is an excellent crosser of the ball with good pace and I'm sure he will be a handful for defenders. As I've said before in my career I dropped from the English First Division to Non-League football before getting back to the top of the game. These guys want a chance and have proved through their commitment and skill that they deserve it".

Graham expects more signings to come early next week and is going down South to talk to clubs and see some other players. The website will keep you up to date as soon as the deals are sealed.