Seven of the Warrenpoint Town squad won’t be lacking in motivation when they face Ballymena United at the Showgrounds today.
Town’s new ‘magnificent seven’ were in last season’s Newry City side when they were engulfed in the Irish Cup eligibility fiasco involving the Sky Blues.
After a considerable amount of legal wrangling it was determined that United’s Alan Davidson was ineligible to play in the quarter-final clash against City — allowing the border boys to progress to the semi-finals were their cup dreams were shattered by Linfield.
Newry City then found themselves in the middle of an even bigger storm — this time of the financial variety — and the club has disappeared off the domestic football map. Several of the players have resumed their careers at Championship One side, Warrenpoint Town.
Darren King, Stephen Hughes, Mark Hughes, Daniel Hughes, Ruairi Devlin, Marty Haveron and Stephen McCabe were all part of the City squad that went on that eventful cup run a year ago.
King, who is fighting to be fit for today’s game as he is suffering an ankle injury, admits there will be an added edge to the showdown.
“These boys were the backbone of the Newry side that played in that game against Ballymena United,” said King.
“And of course Alan Davidson is from Warrenpoint so it adds a little spice into the mix.
“We are committed to Warrenpoint Town now but it’s not easy to forget what happened last season.
“We found out after the game that Alan wasn’t eligible but then the saga dragged on for too long and there was a lot of confusion. Newry hadn’t been in an Irish Cup semi-final for so long and it mattered a lot to the club.
“But there’s a great set-up at Warrenpoint and of course the team shocked Cliftonville in this competition in 2011. So there is no fear factor from our perspective.
“We have a good squad of players and we will believe we can cause an upset.”