New boy Mayse can become Dungannon Swifts' talisman, says McAree
Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree believes summer signing Ryan Mayse can be one of the surprise stars of the new Danske Bank Premiership campaign.
The winger has swapped Ballinamallard for Stangmore Park, and has quickly made a big impression.
McAree needs attacking firepower, having lost Andrew Mitchell and Jamie Glackin. And he is confident that 23-year-old Mayse can help cushion the blow of their departures.
"Ryan Mayse is going to be a great signing for us," he said. "He has come in and impressed everyone with his ability.
"He offers so much going forward and I think he's going to be a big, big player for us."
Dungannon finished seventh last term and, while McAree would love a shot at the top six, the task has become harder.
Mitchell's 25 goals last season, and Glackin's creativity from midfield, will certainly be missed. Yet Dungannon still have plenty of attacking options.
Ryan Harpur scored seven times from midfield last season and has set himself a target of hitting double figures this term.
If Peter McMahon and Paul McElroy can put serious injury problems behind them, both have the talent to be key players.
Cormac Burke and Ally Teggart also offer plenty of creativity from the wings.
And 18-year-old Nathaniel Ferris, another summer arrival, has scored seven times in pre-season.
McAree added: "I'm looking forward to the new season. Yes, we have lost a few, but that's football and you have to move on. The players we have brought in all offer a lot of potential and I'm sure will play a big part in the months ahead."
Mayse and Ferris aside, three other players have joined.
Liam McMenamin, who plays at right-back, and midfielder Grant Hutchinson offer plenty of experience.
Liam Hughes, a 15-year-old goalkeeper, has also signed - but he is one for the future.
Dungannon, who open against Coleraine on Saturday, are coming off the back of a confidence-building run of form in pre-season.
They won seven of their nine games, drawing 0-0 against Institute in their final warm-up fixture last weekend.
McAree was pleased with his side's efforts - but admits the real work starts now.
"It's very hard to replicate what you are going to be playing against (in the league) in pre-season," he added. "No disrespects to the sides we played, but it is hard to attract teams that will give us a big, big test.
"Institute did give us a good game, but it can be difficult. There is a big gulf in class between the clubs we have faced and what's to come when the season starts."