Despite the feverish activity going on behind the scenes ahead of their return to the Premiership, it’s rather quiet on the Carrick Rangers front, writes Kevin Hughes.
There have been no further developments in terms of player recruitment and even the pre-season fixture list is incomplete.
It’s not a case of anybody taking their eye off the ball, rather the problem regarding friendlies comes down to the situation with the pitch, which has been the subject of new drainage work and will not be available for matches prior to the big kick-off.
A set of fixtures had been drawn up but most of the matches were to be played at the Taylor’s Avenue venue, that now whittled down to a small number which will proceed on the 3G pitch. Indeed, amongst the originally intended opposition were Scottish outfit Stranraer, which has been scrapped.
The choice of opposition is restricted in that, while there is no rule to prevent premier clubs playing one another ahead of the season starting, it’s deemed not to be a good idea for clubs to show their hands. In effect, such games would either be cat-and-mouse affairs or so laid back as to gain nothing in terms of work-rate or fitness.
But, while it has gone full circle for Carrick in that they are now one of the top sides and will generally be playing lower-grade opposition instead of being cannon fodder for the big guns, Rangers do have a game lined up against a top side.
They will play Glentoran at Inver Park on Tuesday, July 14, that one of the games pencilled in originally for the now unavailable Carrick home ground.
Their first friendly is tonight (July 9) away to Ards, before a trip to Larne Tech on Saturday (3pm).
Newington YC are due to play on the 3G at Taylor’s Avenue on July 16, and Crumlin Star are also expected to face the Gers.
Outings against Ards Rangers, Donegal Celtic and Carrick Thistle are also on the to-be-confirmed list.