David Healy programme notes
Posted : 1st November 2020
Tonight we will face a formidable challenge from an in-form Crusaders team who, like ourselves, have won their opening two league games and will come here full of confidence and belief that they can achieve a positive result.
I fully expect Crusaders to be among several teams to be in title contention this season, so tonight's game is sure to be the usual fiercely competitive local derby fixture.
I've been delighted with our results and performances in our opening league and County Antrim Shield games but it's early days in the season and there is a long way to go, so our early season momentum needs to be maintained.
Our new signings have settled in very well and all have shown the quality and talent which made us want to sign them.
I felt we were worthy winners in a difficult game in tough weather conditions in Ballymena last week, with the main concern being the injury picked up by our inspirational captain Jamie Mulgrew and which forced his early withdrawal just before the interval.
Jamie will have been assessed by our medical staff this week and he could be a doubt for tonight's game. Our other recent injured players - Stephen Fallon, Matthew Clarke and Shayne Lavery are all making good progress with their recoveries and should be able to re-join the squad very soon. Christy Manzinga will take some more time to recover from the injury he sustained in the pre-season game in Ballyclare.
Darren Murphy has left his post as first team coach, by mutual consent and I want to place on record my appreciation for his contribution during his time in the role.
I want to pass on my condolences to the family of our legendary striker, Billy Millen who sadly passed away in Sydney, Australia recently, after a long illness that he battled against courageously to the end.
These have been very tough and challenging times for everyone and while it was nice to have several hundred of our supporters in attendance at our recent home league game against Carrick Rangers, it was unfortunate but understandable that none of our loyal travelling supporters were able to be present at last week's win in Ballymena.
I know that so many of our supporters are missing their regular routine of attending games but until the day (hopefully soon) when we can return to more normal attendances at our games, can I just encourage everyone to follow the relevant guidelines, to ensure that everyone stays as safe as possible in these challenging times and unprecedented circumstances.