Loughgall captain Ferguson keen for cup cheer in Mid-Ulster derby

Steven Ferguson. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Steven Ferguson. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Loughgall club captain Steven Ferguson considers knockout progress as key to the development of the Lakeview Park squad.

The Villagers will meet derby rivals Armagh City for the first time this season tonight (Tuesday) in the Mid-Ulster Cup semi-final.

That last-four clash at Armagh’s Holm Park will prove a second knockout test in four days for Loughgall and third cup competition on the club calendar.

“Our form has been good overall in the knockout games,” said Ferguson. “We got a good win last weekend in the Irish Cup against Larne.

“Of course, we are also due to meet Armagh City in the rearranged Bob Radcliffe Cup final.

“It is shaping up to be an exciting second half of the season and cup progress can really help a squad develop together.

“We have a few players getting that first taste of Championship football after moving here from reserve level with Premiership teams.

“It is a big step-up going up against players who have plenty of experience compared to reserve football which tends to be young players around the same age.

“We want to do well across the cups and take a lot of confidence from our progress.

“To have Loughgall in the semi-finals and final of different competitions can only help boost the profile of the club.”

Ferguson, from his midfield role, has the ideal vantage point of Loughgall’s slick attack and considers the forward options a crucial part of the club’s development.

“Warner Mullen and Daniel Ryan have formed an excellent partnership and really work well together up top, with someone like Jamie Rea coming on well since joining from Glenavon,” said Ferguson. “It is strange that we have yet to meet Armagh City this season but can now face quite a few games before the end of the campaign across cups and the league.

“There is little love lost between the clubs as derby rivals and any chance of silverware is something exciting for Loughgall.”

Glenavon and Dungannon Swifts will contest the other semi-final on Tuesday, January 19.

Kick-off tonight (Tuesday) will be 7.45.