Belfast Telegraph

Niall Currie orders same again in Ards' bid for promotion

By Keith Bailie

Ards manager Niall Currie believes that if his team can record the same points tally as they managed last season, they won't be far away from promotion.

Ards finished third with 56 points and that is the minimum target as the Championship 1 season kicks-off as with the Red & Blues facing Lisburn Distillery in Bangor (3pm).

"If we match the number of points we collected last year then we won't too be far away from the title," said Currie.

"Last year three teams lost just two games, it was incredible. I don't see that happening again, but you can't be sure. In this division you can't afford to drop many points as we found out last season. That's why we must get off to a good start on Saturday.

"When I arrived at Ards the aim was just to be competitive in the Championship, but now things have changed. Fans expect us to be challenging for trophies, which is exactly what I want to achieve."

Ards' rivals Bangor missed out on promotion last season after they lost a promotion Play-Off with Warrenpoint Town on penalties. The Seasiders will start their campaign with a short trip to Knockbreda.

Larne will travel to Castlederg to take on Richard Clarke's Dergview.

Manager David McAliden said; "You always want to win things. There's no point in working hard for six or seven weeks of pre-season if you don't have that ambition. There's also no point in the club knocking their pan in to get the licence if we're not competitive."

Institute return to the Championship after a year in the top flight with a difficult journey to Belfast to face H&W Welders. New manager Kevin Deery will miss the game as he's on holiday, so assistant Paddy McLaughlin will look after the Drumahoe team.

Lurgan Celtic's first game back in Championship 1 will be against Donegal Celtic at Knockramer Park, while fellow new-boys Annagh United will host Armagh City. Elsewhere, Ballyclare Comrades host Loughgall.

Darren Lockhart's first game as Dundela manager sees Newington come to Wilgar Park on Saturday.

In last night's match, Tobermore United overcame Coagh United 1-0 with Moe Curtis grabbing the winner.

Belfast Telegraph


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