Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 12th January 2019

Today we will face a Warrenpoint Town team that will come here full of belief that they can improve on their 1-1 draw here earlier in the season and also their 3-3 Windsor Park draw last season.

In recent weeks Warrenpoint have recorded impressive wins away to Glenavon and Institute and following the addition of several recent new signings, they will want to maintain the momentum they have built up over the past few weeks.

In the past week, I’ve been delighted with our wins in the Irish cup against Ballyclare and against Ballymena in the County Antrim Shield semi-final.

Our players have displayed a first class attitude, on and off the pitch over a recent challenging fixture schedule and the depth of the squad will be put to the test over the coming weeks, as we have a lot of big games ahead in the remainder of this month and next month.

While there’s a lot of excitement being generated by our upcoming County Antrim Shield final against Crusaders, our League Cup final against Ballymena and our February 2 Irish Cup tie against Crusaders at Windsor Park, it’s the next game that is the most important and therefore, it’s todays Warrenpoint game that has demanded all our attention since our midweek win in Ballymena.

Our long term injury casualties, Cameron Stewart, Lorcan Forde, Ryan McGivern and Mark Haughey continue to make progress and I’m hopeful that Ryan and Lorcan will have been able to take some part in a training game we arranged in midweek.

We agreed in midweek to extend the loan arrangement of Eamon Scannell at Warrenpoint until the end of the season. He’s made a good impression there and he will benefit from the opportunities for increased game time there.

We also agreed to let Jonathan Smith go on loan to Ards until the end of the season. Jonathan hasn’t had a lot of opportunities for game time this season, so he too will benefit from the greater opportunities for game time he will hopefully enjoy at Ards.

Congratulations to Andrew Waterworth who played in his 250th game for this club at Ballymena in midweek. He scored twice to mark the occasion and his record of 146 goals in his 250 games is quite a remarkable goal scoring return. Hopefully, he will continue to score plenty more goals for us.

Chris Casement also played in a landmark game recently - his 150th appearance for this club in the 2-0 win at Ards on New Year’s Day. He has enjoyed a consistent season and showed everyone the form he’s capable of.

Our support at Ballymena in midweek was excellent, as always and I know we will continue to rely on your patience, loyalty and enthusiasm, not just today, but across many games over the coming weeks. Please continue to get behind all of the players in each of the big games we will face, starting with today’s very tough game against very competitive opponents
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Venue : Windsor Park
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