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Wednesday 28 Jun 2023
Northern Ireland players on the move

Championship outfit Queen's Park Rangers have re-signed Northern Ireland forward Paul Smyth on a three-year deal from last season’s League Two champions Leyton Orient.

Two years after leaving QPR, the 25-year-old has decided to return to Loftus Road.

“It’s brilliant to be back and I can’t wait to get started,” said Smyth, who scored 10 goals in 42 appearances for the O’s last term. “It genuinely feels like I have been out on loan for two years!

“I had a brilliant season with Leyton Orient and the interest was there with QPR and I just had to get it done. I want to give it a chance again in the Championship. I couldn’t turn it down.

“I have been here before, I know what it’s like and I have a point to prove to myself. I want this. I want to show what I can do.”

In his first spell with QPR the former Linfield player scored just twice in 23 games for the club but boss Gareth Ainsworth believes Smyth is now a better player and ready for the Championship.

“We are going to see the best of Paul Smyth,” Ainsworth told the club website. “Maybe three or four years ago it was just a little early to make his mark in this division but I am sure he is going to do that now.

“Paul was one of the outstanding talents in League Two last season. He was a big reason why Orient won the league and why they were so potent going forward.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Alfie McCalmont has signed a permanent deal with League One side Carlisle United after being released by Leeds United.

The 23-year-old, who has agreed a two-year deal with the Cumbrian outfit, spent the latter half of last term on loan at United, helping them win promotion to League One following a 1-0 victory over Stockport County in the play-off final at Wembley. 

Another Northern Ireland player on the move is Carl Winchester, who is making the switch from Sunderland to Shrewsbury Town following his release by the Black Cats. 

The 30-year-old, who has penned a two-year contract with the League One club, returns to Town after playing 43 games for them whilst on loan from Sunderland last season.