Every fortnight throughout the season, first team manager Darren Mullen will express his views on the club website about how the Newry City AFC first team are progressing. We are delighted to introduce the first edition.
Let me start by saying how much of an honour it is for me to manage Newry City AFC. It has been a long 11 months but it’s a credit to the committee and my fellow coaching staff that we are back playing football at The Showgrounds. It’s been a good start – I can’t ask for much more than three wins out of three. In each game it has taken us a while to gel and we’ve missed a few chances because of that but I told the lads not to get frustrated & we’ve done well in the second half. Its a completely new squad so that is to be expected. We have had three good wins and three clean sheets, So there’s a lot to be happy about. At the same time it’s early days and we won’t be getting carried away as there will be tougher tests ahead.
People were questioning why we were playing such tough opposition in our pre-season, but they can see the reason now as the lads are playing with a good tempo and their fitness levels are great – which has benefited them against their opposition so far in the league. After one more league match against St.Marys we have four cup games in a row, but we will be going with the same approach as in the league, we want to try our best and win every game.
We have been missing lads through injuries and holidays, so we have had to make a few changes, but that’s the point of having a big squad. Everyone is pushing and working very hard to get on that first eleven – making team selection a lot harder for me.
Jimmy Walker has been the man of the match for the first few games which is well deserved, but the whole team including the subs used have all played their part and we will need them to continue their hard work. Neil Barr has got seven goals so far but he knows I won’t let him get complacent. They are a good bunch of lads and know that they will all need to work hard for any success to happen.
I am also delighted with the support we’ve been getting so far – the supporters have really got behind the boys and encouraged them to play well with their terrific vocal support. The staff and players really appreciate the effort they have made and hopefully will continue to do so. We will try our best to give them something to sing about. It’s great to have a good buzz around the Showgrounds again, which is something that has been missing for a while.
Cover photo courtesy of Brendan Monaghan