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Veteran Irish midfielder released by Northampton three days after helping club to promotion

Alan McCormack is on the move.

Alan McCormack in action in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium on Monday.
Alan McCormack in action in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium on Monday.
Image: MIke Egerton

VETERAN IRISH MIDFIELDER Alan McCormack has been released by Northampton Town just three days after helping the club to promotion to League One.

The 36-year-old Dubliner was one of 13 players released by the Cobblers today after helping the side through the League Two play-offs.

McCormack achieved promotion for the third year-in-a-row — his fifth in total — following Luton’s back-to-back progress to the Championship.

And after being released by the Hatters last summer, he suffered the same fate this season at Northampton.

“What a year the last year has been,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter earlier. “Many, many friends made but even more, many, many memories made that I will never forget. 

To leave this club on a promotion with a group of staff and players is a privilege. Thank you to gaffer, all the staff and all the players for these memories and let’s not forget the support you fans gave. 

“Thank you for everything. I wish all the players, staff and gaffer all the very best for next year and beyond. I’ll always be a fan now. See yous all soon.”

“This is a difficult summer with the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and we have been very transparent about that from the very start with the players,” manager Keith Curle told the club website.

“The industry is having to make adjustments and that is being reflected across the game. As a club, it is important show good housekeeping in these difficult times.”

Later, he delved into the reasoning McCormack’s departure, in particular, after an injury-hit season.

“Alan was my first meeting this morning,” Curle told local media. “I met him at twenty-past or half-past eight and it was important to meet face-to-face.

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“It was a difficult conversation, but a realistic conversation because in my mind, I know where Alan is now — Alan wants to play games and Alan needs to play games.

“There are some similarities between Alan and myself when I was 38. Neil Warnock wanted me to go into coaching but he also knew that I still had a desire and I wanted to play games. That’s where I am at with Alan now.

“I think Alan will go into coaching and management but he’s still got that desire to play games and that’s important and most older players in football will tell you to play as long as you can.

That was my message to Alan. I told him that I think he has a lot to offer, both as a professional and a player, and he’s still got game-time in him and he needs to go and play more games.

“He understood and he agreed and the pleasing thing is he’s enjoyed his time here and he’s enjoyed his connection with the football club,” the former Manchester City captain added.

“He wanted to play more games. He knows that potentially, if he hadn’t had the injuries, he would have played more games. Would he have accepted going up a level and potentially not playing as many games? I don’t think that would have been the right way for Alan to continue his career.”

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Emma Duffy

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