With the new season starting today, Armagh City manager Marty Rice is keen to build on a successful series of pre-season friendlies. He said “It’s good to get started in earnest now. The season starts this Saturday and we are well prepared for it now”.
As well as having prepared the team well during the friendlies, the fact that City have re-established a Reserve side this year is also reason for optimism, and Rice said “A lot of times last season we were down to the bare bones with injuries, suspensions and what not. It ended up that we had to dip into the Under-18’s to field a team and that made it very difficult for us, especially against the more experienced teams in the division. That won’t be the case this season though.”
Despite losing Shea Campbell and Shea McGerrigan to Dungannon Swifts during the summer, Rice has bolstered the squad with a number of additions including Darren Bruce, Stuart Bruce and Dale Montgomery from Lisanally Rangers and Stefan Thompson from Dungannon Swifts. With City’s thriving youth football setup, the addition of the Reserve side will help nurture new talent, and Rice added “The return of the Reserve side will mean that it will make it easier for players breaking into the senior team for the first time. We are keen to develop all local talent and any players who would like to come up and give it a go are more than welcome”.
Looking forward to the season opener against PSNI, Rice said “This is a good game for us to start with definitely. It will give us a good gauge of how far we’ve come from last season. Ideally we’d like to be winning all our home games and I don’t see why we can’t do that. I said on numerous occasions last season that on any day, any team can beat the other. The league is just that competitive but I would hope we will win a larger proportion of our games this season. I genuinely believe we can compete at the top end of the league and it begins this Saturday”.
Armagh City v PSNI kicks off at 3pm at Holm Park. Live updates will be available on this site and at twitter.com/armaghcityfc