Belfast Telegraph

Billy Weir: It must be Christmas, three wise men have been spotted

Terry Fitzpatrick
Terry Fitzpatrick

By Billy Weir

It was perhaps a little cruel on my part to ponder if the No.66 shirt sported by Dungannon Swifts' exciting new midfield player on Saturday was a reference to his age or, indeed, date of birth.

I am assured that the 'retired' Terry Fitzpatrick has reached neither of these milestones, but to have him back playing again is fantastic.

It could also be crucial for the Swifts, a team that has some exciting, young talents coming through such as Oisin Smyth - who scored two cracking goals on Saturday -Ben Gallagher, who didn't give Jim Ervin a minute's peace, and 16-year-old Terry Devlin coming off the bench for an impressive cameo.

However, there is a lot to be said for being able to call upon the services of a man who has been there and done everything with the club.

"He's got that experience, he's got that know-how, he doesn't do anything flash but he organises and he talks to people and gives us that platform to allow others to go and be a bit more attacking," explained manager Kris Lindsay.

"It gives us more freedom and I thought he was excellent for the time he was on the pitch.

"Dungannon is his club. We have a couple of players at the club, Seanan Clucas and Dougie Wilson too, and this is their club. You know what it means to them to play for the club and to play in the Premiership for their club."

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And talking of good to see you back, two of the finest men I have had the pleasure of dealing with down the years, Gary Smyth and John Bailie, are also back in the game.

Smicker, treated abysmally by one club in east Belfast, is back with another who, hopefully, won't treat him just as shabbily, as he returns to the helm of Harland and Wolff Welders.

They have big plans ahead, a new stadium in the offing and hopes of making it to the Premiership and no finer man to try and achieve that than one of the game's truly classy individuals.

The same can be said of Bailie. He gave his all as Ards captain over the years, playing the guts of 300 games and also working under Niall Currie as assistant manager. Like Smyth, his ultimate aim is to take Ards back to the top level and, just like when they played, neither of them will shirk that challenge.

Good luck to all three of them, it's nice when the good guys come back.

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