Chris Scannell expects Cliftonville to face a stern end to their pre-season preparations this evening when they face a Swansea City side spearheaded by former Solitude favourite Rory Donnelly.
The game also promises to have an extra competitive edge with the winners picking up the Ladbrokes Supporters’ Cup crown which the Reds have owned for the last two years thanks to victories over FC United of Manchester and Stirling Albion.
“It’s going to be a difficult game for us, but these are the sort of matches we always look forward to in pre-season,” Scannell said.
“You learn different things depending on the standard of your opposition and, as good as it can be to playing and beating Amateur League teams, coming up against Swansea City players will be a different task entirely.
“Anybody on the books of a club in the English Premier League is going to have plenty of quality about them and facing players like that just a few days before our own league kicks off will hopefully help us fine-tune things.”
Staged on an annual winner-stays-on basis, the Ladbrokes Supporters’ Cup is contested between clubs who have a significant fans presence in their make-up.
“I’m sure Rory would like to take it back to Swansea, but we’re a competitive bunch and we want to hang onto it,” said Scannell.
Admission to Solitude is £12 and £6, anyone who produces a ticket stub from last week’s friendly with Celtic will be granted a reduction of £2 and £1 respectively.