Hanover keen to consolidate on first season back in top flight

Thai Blevins has joined Hanover in preparation for the club's return to top-flight Mid-Ulster football.INPT30-218
Thai Blevins has joined Hanover in preparation for the club's return to top-flight Mid-Ulster football.INPT30-218

Hanover will be hoping for a winning formula from the combination of familiar and fresh faces as they return to Mid-Ulster football’s top-flight table for the first time since 2009.

Promotion last season provided a key step forward and Hanover will enter the campaign keen to secure long-term stability on the senior stage.

“There is certainly a buzz around the place to be back up in Intermediate A,” said Dean Crowe, part of the coaching team at Hanover. “The aim is to consolidate and the fixture list will throw up so many big games.

“We will be back visiting some places for the first time in years and it is all very exciting.

“In recent seasons we have used cup ties against top-flight clubs as a measuring stick of our own progress and can take encouragement from those performances.

“Now it is about league consistency and not just producing the one-off cup display.

“However, we have added to last season’s squad and feel there is strength-in-depth.”

Bill Richardson opted to step down as manager in the summer having guided the club to promotion. The decision was made to promote former Irish League player Steven Hyndes, with Crowe remaining part of the coaching team alongside summer recruit Glenn McCullough.

The players’ roster will also feature a few significant changes, with Stephen Woods and Dean Bunting to now focus on helping the club’s reserves.

“Jamie Rooney has come in from Tandragee Rovers, Simon Foster was previously with Laurelvale and we have also added people like Thai Blevins, William Kerr, Simon Smyth and Regan McIlveen,” said Crowe. “Everyone has settled in and we are pleased with the summer work.

“We have strengthened key areas.

“We want to be as competitive as possible but use this season to consolidate.”