Toner rejects Harriers move

Last updated : 20 January 2005 By Gary Hutchinson
An extended run may see Toner pull on the green of Ireland once again.
The Imps Irish star Toner has turned down a move to League Two rivals Kidderminster Harriers according to reports in local press.

The west country side are currently second bottom in the table, and they were prepared to Toner a permanent deal until the end of the season. Toner would have been joining ex Imp Simon Weaver at Aggborough.

However Imps boss Keith Alexander and the man himself Toner both rejected the move.

"I told Ciaran about their interest because I felt he had a right to know, but I also told him I didn't want him to move on," said Alexander. "He told me he didn't want the move either because he's in the side and wants to stay and fight for his place.”

Alexander was impressed with the response from Toner who has recently elevated himself to first team status with a series of stylish and competent displays.

"That kind of attitude is just what you want to hear as a manager."

The 23-year-old arrived at Sincil Bank in the summer following his release by Leyton Orient claiming he would bring ‘a touch of quality on the ball’ to the Imps midfield. He struggled to break into the side at first but has started the last six matches after Peter Gain strained medial knee ligaments at home to Cheltenham Town.

Gain played an hour for the reserves in yesterday's 2-1 defeat at home to Halifax Town and with Ritchie Hanlon still waiting for a chance to impress since he arrived from Conference side Stevenage Borough last month competition to play alongside Richard Butcher in City's midfield is hotting up.

"Gainy played for about an hour yesterday and it's a case of waiting to see if there is any reaction," said Alexander. "If not, then hopefully I'll be able to name him in the squad for Saturday's game at Grimsby."

Toner may have decided to stay and fight for his place, but with two places open to four players the battle is far from over for the Northern Ireland international.