Preview of Saturday’s Charity Shield

Posted : 5th August 2022 at 22:39:46

​On Saturday the official curtain-raiser of the new season sees NIFL champions Linfield and Irish Cup holders Crusaders meet at Windsor Park (3pm ko, all-ticket) for the Charity Shield trophy. Linfield are the current holders of the trophy having defeated Coleraine (3-1) at the Oval in 2017. The Charity Shield has a chequered history that has seen the Shield only contested ten times since the inaugural final back in 1992.The Blues have won the trophy a total of four times (one shared), whilst Crusaders have appeared in two finals (2015, 2016).

With Linfield's intense European campaign heading to FC Zurich next week, David will be taking the opportunity to utilise his squad. This of course will provide some much-needed game time to players both in and currently on the periphery of the squad, alongside those who are returning from injury.

Crusaders enjoyed a relatively successful European campaign, the highlight of which was a undoubtedly a home draw (1-1) with Swiss side FC Basel. Expectations of success at the Shore Road outfit have been raised dramatically following the decision to accept major investment from a business consortium. Manager Stephen Baxter, who signed a new contract that will take him to 20 years in charge, will be looking to add to the high trophy count achieved during his long tenure at the club.

​Whilst both teams will be determined to lift the Charity Shield, the real winner will be those in the community who will benefit from the revenue and increased awareness generated from the game.

Hopefully, there will be a very healthy attendance at Windsor Park on Saturday. COYB!

Ken Garrett.
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