Club Focus: Newtownbreda
Newtownbreda may have slipped down to fifth spot in 2B, but manager Michael Titterington hasn't given up on claiming promotion just yet.
The school teacher said: “Well, we've four home games left. Our aim is to win all four of those games. If we can do that then we will have a good chance of promotion. Obviously that's a big ask for the boys but I know they've got the ability.”
Reflecting on the season, Titterington thinks his team could have picked up a few more points.
“If I'm being honest I'm not that happy with where we are in the league. I think everybody in 2B expected Tullycarnet to do well with the resources they have, but I thought we could push for second place and promotion.
“It isn't beyond us yet, but we would need to have a fantastic end to the season to get second. When I think back over our results this season I think we've had too many draws. We're much more competitive than we were last season but if we are serious about kicking on we will have to turn those draws into wins.
“We are moving in the right direction though. We've a lot of young players at the club, I think our average age is 23, so we will continue to improve.”
Titterington, who teaches at RBAI, has brought in a number of his pupils and former pupils to help revolutionise the Newtownbreda squad.
He explained: “When I took over we had quite an old squad. A lot of the guys were in their mid-30s and I realised we need to integrate some young players into the team.
“I'm a teacher at Inst so I've brought in a few of my old boys. Obviously we are a school associated with rugby but we've a strong football team too now and I've brought a few guys to our club.
“Our top scorer Gavin McCaughan is a good example. He wasn't even in the Inst first XI when we brought him to the club, but he's continued to grow as a player. I think he's now got 24 goals this season. He's got pace to burn and he has an eye for goal.”
Next on the agenda for Newtownbreda is Portavogie Rangers, another team with their eye on promotion.
“Portavogie beat us 3-2 at their place earlier in the season and I thought we were incredibly unlucky. We had chances to win the game and if we can play like that on our own patch then I don't see why we can't win the game.”
Going forward, Titterington's ambition doesn't stop at promotion to 2A. He believes Newtownbreda can't mix it with the best intermediate football has to offer.
“This season might have come too soon for promotion, but I'm confident we can have a real go at it next season. I'm already preparing for next year.
“We a good group of players here already and we will add to that. We've also got top coaches in Mark Sloan and Marco Pritchard.
“I don't think there is a massive leap from 2B to 2A, so if we can get promoted I don't see any reason why we can't move up into intermediate football. We've seen what the likes of St. Pats and Immaculata have achieved.”
Name : Newtownbreda
League : NAFL 2B
Founded : 1976
Nicknames : 'Breda
Ground : Upper Braniel Road
Colours : Blue
Gaffer : Michael Titterington
Skipper : Simon Firth
Sharpshooter : Gavin McCaughan
Most Skilful : Matthew Quinn
Hard Man : Ryan Dickey
Club Comedian : There's too many to mention
Best Moment: Becoming a more physical team
Club Man : Robert Doherty does a lot of work for the team
Belfast Telegraph Digital