Annagh boost from January business

Dean Smith. 
Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Dean Smith. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Annagh United manager Dean Smith is hoping his New Year signings can rewrite the January transfer window rulebook.

The first window of the year is traditionally considered lacking in value signings and overall quality.

However, with Championship One survival the ultimate goal, Smith has opted to bolster the panel with a string of fresh faces designed to prepare United for a vital points push.

United visit league leaders Ards tomorrow (Saturday) when Smith will go up against Niall Currie, his former manager at Loughgall and a past Annagh boss.

“I am pleased with our January business and we have increased the level of competition for places,” said Smith. “That can be a big step towards keeping players sharp.

“Complacency can be a real problem but if the guy with the shirt knows someone is breathing down his neck that can make all the difference.

“We have made a few additions, many promising young players but also some experience around the ranks.

“The players all share that same hunger for gametime and we are confident they can quickly integrate into our club spirit.”

Annagh had a familiar face as the key man in last weekend’s league success against Bangor.

Scott McCordick’s hat-trick settled the points for Annagh and provided a welcome win following the previous weekend’s league draw after back-to-back cup exits.

“We keep talking about how important staying up is in the league,” said Smith. “I was disappointed to lose the cup ties but the response in the 4-4 draw with Dergview was encouraging.

“To then get a win away to Bangor is a great boost and it was brilliant to see Scott in such great form.”

A weekend clash with Ards offers Annagh an opportunity to not only bolster the tally of points but also confidence around the club.

“Ards are very strong but too often in the past we have come off the pitch feeling frustrated at our own performance level,” said Smith. “It would be a great lift to morale to get something from the match, given how we have not really turned up for whatever reason in the past.

“Saturday offers another chance to produce our best form.”

Kick-off will be 3 o’clock.