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Club focus: Ardglass





In September, Ardglass were the Amateur League's in-form side, but recently they've hit a slump, losing four games in a row.

But why? “I wish I knew the answer to that,” says manager Chris Deegan.

The former Lisburn Distillery defender is baffled by his side’s loss of form.

“Nothing has changed since the start of the season. We won our first few games of the season and everything was going well, but now we've lost four on the trot.

“At the moment it feels like we're not getting the rub of the green. It feels like we're missing all our chances while the opposition are taking all of theirs. It's frustrating but I'm confident we can turn it around.

“I believe in this squad and I'm certain with a little bit of luck we will return to early- season form.”

Ardglass are a club who have climbed the ranks of the Amateur League, rising from 1B to the top flight in just two seasons. Deegan believes this team is the best Ardglass side of all time.

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“I keep telling our lads that this is the best squad Ardglass will ever have. We've got a fantastic blend of experienced players and talented youngsters. A club our size will never have that again.

“We've got the talent at this club to turn things around very quickly and challenge for honours, but they've got to work hard if they want it to happen.

“I honestly think we can finish at the top of the table. People might think that's arrogant but I believe in my team. Let's face it, you play football to win trophies not to finish second or third. Nobody remembers the runner-up.”

Irish League fans will remember Deegan as a talented left back with a wicked free-kick, who won the old First Division with Distillery. While he may be knocking on in years, he hasn't hung his boots up yet. He is currently playing in the heart of the Ardglass defence.

Deegan explained: “I've been concentrating on managing recently, but I've decided to play for the new few weeks. I'm still only 34, so there is no reason why not.

“The thing is, I've found it difficult to manage and play. I thought I could do it, but it's too difficult.

“So for the next couple of games, Harry Walsh will be looking after the team while I concentrate on playing. I think I've still got plenty to give at this level.”

Deegan's old side Distillery were relegated to the Championship last season after 11 years in the top flight. Deegan admits he was sad to see the Whites drop out of senior football.

He said: “I still keep an eye out for their results on a Saturday. They were the best club I ever played for and I've a lot of good memories of my time there.

“It was sad to see them relegated to the Championship and with all their money problems I think it's going to be difficult for them to get promotion any time soon, but they do have a great manager in Tommy Kincaid, so hopefully he can get them going in the right direction. I played under Kincaid at Ards and he's a good friend of mine.”


Club focus with Ardglass manager Chris Deegan

Name: Ardglass

League: NAFL Premier Section

Founded: 1973

Ground: The School Field

Colours: Red and Black

Gaffer: Chris Deegan

Skipper: Ian Kearney

Sharpshooter: Neil Taggart

Most Skilful: Neil Taggartt

Hard Man: Stephen Deegan

Club Comedian: Chris Taggert

Best Moment: Beating Ards Rangers earlier this season

Club Man: Paul Mullan

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