Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 23rd April 2019

Tonight we will face Cliftonville in our final home game in what has been a memorable and successful season and after Saturday’s game in Coleraine, our players, staff and supporters can enjoy a well earned break until our pre-season programme commences in June.

We may have won two games and drawn one in the league against Cliftonville this season but that will count for nothing tonight. Under their new manager Paddy McLoughlin, they have gathered some momentum in recent weeks and they will be pushing hard to try and secure a vital and financially lucrative place in the Europa League next season. Games against Cliftonville are always tight, competitive games, irrespective of the placings in the league table and I expect tonight’s game to be no different.

I’m looking forward to meeting many of our supporters at the club’s upcoming annual awards evening at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and I’m sure it’s going to be a memorable occasion for all who will be in attendance.

I’m aware that several of our players are in line for individual recognition at the prestigious Ulster Footballer of the year and Football Writers awards events in the coming weeks and I hope that further accolades will come the way of our players at these functions.

I want to wish our Linfield Rangers squad every success in their Youth Cup final against St. Oliver Plunkett at Windsor Park on May 6. Ryan Prentice’s team will be seeking their third successive triumph in this important competition and I hope they can successfully defend the trophy in what’s sure to be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

In conclusion, I want to thank my back room team because our success this season is down to a real team effort, involving not just our players but also so many unsung heroes behind the scenes. I am grateful to my right hand man and assistant manager Ross Oliver and our new first team coach and former player Darren Murphy.

Johnny Williamson does a great job as goalkeeping coach and Ricky McCann has come in and done a splendid job as fitness coach.

Our medical team of doctor Tim Atkinson, sports therapist Terry Hayes and physio Paul Butler do sterling work, helping players recover from injuries and much more besides.

The work of our kit manager Gary Eccles and the rest of the backroom team of Josh Eccles, Andy Kerr MBE, Kenny McKeague and Jamesy Robertson is always greatly appreciated and they have been integral parts of our successes this season.

I want to thank our supporters for all the sacrifices you’ve made to support the team this year and I look forward to seeing you back in Windsor Park next season, having enjoyed what I hope will be an enjoyable summer period
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