This has been an eventful year for the club both on and off the pitch but one that has continued the terrific progress that we have been making. In the same period last season we were in the middle of a poor run of form and any promotion bid looked like an unlikely prospect. However we never lost belief within our group and thankfully we got the rewards that the players and coaching staff deserved. To achieve 3 promotions is no mean feat at any level of football and has made this year another memorable one for everyone involved at the club. That progress has continued into the first half of this season and although we got off to a poor start we are now on a terrific run of 12 games unbeaten. We know that there is a huge amount of football yet to be played but we are really enjoying our football at the minute with a Mid-Ulster cup Final against Glenavon also to look forward to.
Not only have we progressed on the pitch but we have also grown as a club off it. With an ever increasing fan base, allied to the extremely loyal group that we have had from the beginning, they have acted as an extra man especially at away games where they have outnumbered most home support. To see the joy on their faces with our success is an added bonus and hopefully we can continue to keep them happy. Our commercial partners have also grown and we were delighted to have The Canal Court continue as our main sponsor for an additional 3 years. Along with Around-A-Pound, Clanrye Taxis, Newmay Electrical and Peak Electrics they have helped us in no small manner and we are extremely grateful for their continued support. As has been well documented in a recent Newry Reporter interview we need further support in this area and I would appeal to anyone who has an interest in helping the club in any way to get in touch with me.
As with other clubs there are also lows in any year and we were deeply saddened to lose 2 former players in Tony Scappaticci and Paul Straney. Both had made a significant contribution to the club and along with fans that we have also lost this year they will be sorely missed at The Showgrounds. I have made reference to both players in certain team talks and if the current squad can match the effort that they made in a Newry jersey then we will be a better team for it.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ramy, Micky, Jervis and Gary who have provided terrific support. Along with Gary Redpath, Barry Traynor, Jason McConville, Kevin Darcy, Colm Murphy and all the other coaching staff, they have been doing an excellent job of providing players that are hopefully good enough to play first team football. Without their help and advice my job would be a lot more difficult and I am indebted to them for their continued efforts. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our committee for their efforts in 2017 and to all of the volunteers at the club, their contribution is greatly appreciated.
Finally I would like to wish you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. I hope to see you all at The Showgrounds on Boxing Day for our final home game of the year against Lurgan Celtic.