Rodney McAree wants the new generation at Dungannon Swifts to take the club to a new level.
That will be no easy task considering that McAree was part of the squad that finished fourth in the league in successive seasons, reached an Irish Cup final and enjoyed two ventures into the Setanta Sports Cup.
McAree, who is now focusing on coaching as Dixie Robinson’s assistant after calling time on his playing days, has confidence that the new breed can take the Swifts further than they have ever been before having drawn Institute in the quarter-finals of the Co-operative Insurance Cup.
“It’s a good draw for us because it’s a tie that we are capable of winning, but Institute will feel exactly the same as we do,” said McAree. “When you get to the last eight of any cup competition you expect to come up against tough opposition and that’s how it will be for us. The opportunity is there for us to reach the semi-finals and we’ve never done that before in this competition.
“We reached the final of the Irish Cup in 2007 and after having to go through a play-off to stay in the Premiership last season it would be great for the club to bounce back from that by getting to another cup final.
“I think we have the squad to do that, but all along this season our approach has been to take one game at a time, so we’ll concentrate on Institute first.”
On his decision to hang up the boots, McAree added: “I probably could have played on, but with my knee and hips causing me problems I can’t do the things that I used to be able to do.”