Smith keen for second-half progress

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

Annagh United manager Dean Smith can reflect on a 2015 to remember - but the forward-thinking boss is using the closing weeks of the year to plan a push up the table across the season’s second half.

Promotion provided Annagh a place in the Irish League’s second-tier structure for the first time and a debut campaign has produced five wins from 12 fixtures.

Cup issues will hand Annagh a second successive blank weekend tomorrow (Saturday) and Smith is facing up to a return to football on January 2.

“We had a friendly arranged this week with Newry City AFC and another on the cards for the weekend with Banbridge Town to help keep everyone sharp under the circumstances,” said Smith. “Depending on other results, on January 2 we will be taking on either Armagh City in the league or Dergview across the Intermediate Cup.

“We need some sort of football before that match to keep the guys sharp and it is also good for morale and team spirit to have everyone together during the busy Christmas period.

“Team spirit is a big part of our progress and when you look back over 2015 it has been special for the club overall, players and backroom team.

“But we do not want to let anything drift away and our recent form has been something closer to what we want.

“As newcomers to this level it was natural that we maybe sat back at times but the goal moving forward is to take our game to sides.

“We should feel capable of performing in this division.”