IT is all change at Killymoon Rangers as Brian McGarry has been replaced by Davy McMullan and Steven McElhatton.
The experienced duo have been a mainstay in the Killymoon side for the last few seasons and have made the step up to management for the 2012/2013 season.
At times last season Killymoon struggled to compete with the top sides in the league. Nontheless they produced some superb results particularly at home. One that stands out in particular is a stunning defeat of local rivals Coagh United at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena.
The new management duo are keen to get started and stamp their own mark on the Cookstown based outfit. Steven McElhatton admitted that it was a new challenge for himself and experienced defender Davy McMullan but he was looking forward to the challenge,
“I have been here now for around nine seasons and it is a challenge to make that step up. Nonetheless we will see how things go and hopefully we can move the club forward.”
The new management pair have wasted no time in adding to the squad and they have enticed a few Killymoon Rangers old boys back into the fold.
“We have added four or five new signing to our first team panel and resigned a number of former players. Last season I think the problem we had was if we had a bad run of injuries we did not have the depth in the squad to replace those players.”
“We now have added a bit of quality to the side and hopefully they can help us move up the league table this season.”
Pre-season has been slow but steady for the Mid Ulster Sports Arena based side. A friendly cancellation due to the poor weather conditions has left Killymoon a week or two behind other clubs in their search for match fitness.
“Training has been going well and we are maybe one week behind other clubs. The boys are working hard and everyone is looking forward to the new season.”
The Championship 2 is one of the most competitive leagues in Northern Ireland and McElhatton firmly believes that a number of sides are in with a decent shout of promotion.
“Knockbreda were desperately unlucky not to go up last year. They were right up there last season and I would expect them to be among the challengers this year. Ballyclare have strengthened and will fancy their chances next year. The two relegated sides will be hoping to return to the Championship 1 again and they will be strong.”
McElhatton stated that a good season for the Cookstown outfit would be pushing towards the middle tier of the table.
“The last couple of seasons we have been floating around the relegation zone but I would like to think we could push on and move forward.”
“It is a difficult league and any team that can generate a bit of a run and momentum can leap forward quite quickly. Hopefully by May we are sitting back looking on a solid mid table finish and a job well done.”
Killymoon open their league campaign with a home match against Armagh City at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena. Kick off is 3pm.