Lagan set for Rangers return
It’s a new year and, for the Carrick Rangers boss, a new start, as Michael Hughes makes a resolution to steer his team on a push that will see them make significant progress up the Championship One league table – with a team which will be virtually unrecognisable from the one which has them sitting two from bottom at the end of a disappointing 2012.
Because players have to be signed and registered and, given the personal and family demands on folk over Christmas and the New Year holidays, that all takes time, so Hughes is not at liberty to divulge too much until everything is in place. But he generously did reveal a few of the names of players we can hopefully expect to see at Taylor’s Avenue before the week is out.
“I must stress that none of these are Carrick Rangers players as we speak, but I’m confident that we will be fielding no fewer than five new faces when we travel for a tricky fixture away to Immaculata in the Intermediate Cup on Saturday,” said Hughes.
“As you already know, centre-forward Sean Friars has agreed terms and is due to sign in the next day or two. The same situation prevails with Liam Bradley, a midfielder who was with Donegal Celtic, and also with our former player Anto Lagan, who has agreed to rejoin the club.
“Two others who have agreed, in principle, to sign for us, but whom I would prefer not to name at this moment in time, are a central midfielder who’s with a Premier League club at present, and a right-sided player who has no experience at Premiership level but is a guy with terrific potential.
“And that won’t be us finished, not by any stretch of the imagination. I am not happy at the position we occupy in the league table right now, nor does it satisfy the club and the great band of supporters we have. And it should not satisfy the players, so we are determined to make significant inroads into making a charge up the table.
“So, as we see players becoming available during the period now in which the transfer window is open, we will be determining which ones can add strength to our team and our squad and we will be endeavouring to bring them to Carrick Rangers Football Club.
“Because we are now back at Taylor’s Avenue and are, therefore, not restricted budget-wise in the way we were when we had to pay money to rent facilities, we do have and increased budget available to spend on boosting the panel – and that is what we are doing.
“We are an ambitious board and we want to do the best we can for the club, the supporters, the town and the community and we simply have got to improve the strength of the squad. We took a gamble and started the season with a small panel and we paid the price when injuries and suspensions kicked in. Now we must address this and learn from our mistakes,” explained Hughes.
The loss of Saturday’s league match to the weather, with Inver Park waterlogged for a second successive weekend, was no huge disappointment to the manager.
“We’d like to have played the game, but it was fairly clear from as early as Thursday and the subsequent rain which fell that it was unlikely Inver Park would be ready to host the game.
However, it now means we will have a much stronger squad available when we do meet them, whenever that is. But, of course, they will have added new players by then as well.
“Meantime, the focus is on the Cup match against Immaculata and we know that will be a tough tie against a pretty useful junior side – and we must play our best if we are to progress,” added the Carrick manager.
What team will face them on Saturday is a matter of major conjecture, but Hughes will be keen to get 2013 off to a winning start.
Report by Kevin Hughes
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Carrick
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South