Point to hit ground running
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
BARRY Gray is expecting Warrenpoint to do much better this season in comparison to 2013-14.
On Saturday (August 9) the Town travel to Ballymena Showgrounds for their opening Danske Bank Irish Premier League fixture with a 3pm kick-off. And on the following Wednesday (August 13) Warrenpoint have their first home game when they entertain Glenavon at Milltown with a 7.45pm kick-off.
This should be an interesting season for the Seasiders as they get over the problems of last year, when Milltown wasn't ready and they were forced to play at Dungannnon Swifts' Stangmore Park.
The Town manager is hoping to hit the ground running, as he told the Democrat: "We played in bits and patches last season in terms of games played - but this season we have got more depth and more experience.
“We maintained most of the squad from last season with the exceptions of Kenny Kearns, Sean McMullan and Shaun Parr, and I think we're stronger. We've a no-risk factor in the players coming into the club, particularly Dermot McVeigh from Cliftonville, Ciaran Gargan from Crusaders, Stephen McDonnell from Shelbourne and Sami Osobe from Dundalk.
“Paddy Mooney is back (from Newry City) and we hope he can progress. Also Marty Marron (a goalkeeper from Derrybeg) and Ciaran Rooney are young lads who are good prospects and it's important to get these youngsters involved early on," said Gray.
The 'Point boss concluded: "It's hard to judge in pre-season but everyone is shaping up nicely."
Indeed the new lads will undoubtedly boost the squad. Dermot McVeigh looks a solid, confident central defender, Stephen McDonnell is quick, skilful and tenacious while Sami Osobe will take Irish League defenders out of their comfort zone.
And this trio, along with the best of the last season's squad, such as Stephen Moan (Player of the Year), the Hughes boys, Mark, Stephen and Daniel plus Liam Bagnall, Darren King, John Boyle and Johnny Cowan, will give Warrenpoint a cutting edge against the big guns such as Cliftonville, Linfield, Glentoran and Crusader but Saturday will be the start of another journey in the top flight of Irish League football.
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