Loughgall hoping for rise up the league table

Loughgall manager Steven Hawe.
Loughgall manager Steven Hawe.

Loughgall coach Steven Hawe is hoping the numbers add up to a season of progress at Lakeview Park.

The Villagers finished ninth in last season’s NIFL Championship One table as inconsistency disrupted hopes of a top-half position.

Hawe, who is now in his third campaign with the club, considers a lack of strength-in-depth as central to that erratic form.

“We lost guys at key times and suffered a slump as a result,” said Hawe. “I think we have been able to put out strong line-ups in the past but without the depth to cope as well as we need with injuries and suspensions.

“However, we have been active in the summer by signing people like Andy Devlin, Aaron Canning, Stefan McMaster, Mark McConnell, Jack Upritchard, Chris Elliott and Peter Campbell.

“We have only really lost Aaron Walsh and Gary Henderson from last season so certainly the idea was to add numbers to the roster.

“The under 20s’ Development League will also help us overall and obviously most clubs now accept the importance of internal youth work.

“We have big plans around the club to revamp the facilities that will include a superb youth centre.

“It is exciting and we want to push on at senior level by securing that spot in the top half of the table.”

Loughgall kick off the campaign by playing host to derby rivals Lurgan Celtic from 3 o’clock tomorrow (Saturday).

“It is a good match to open up and everyone is looking forward to the league start,” said Hawe. “We have the quality, it is just about getting wins on a more regular basis.”