Summer push by the Villagers across a number of fronts

The Girls' Academy at Loughgall proved a big hit.
The Girls' Academy at Loughgall proved a big hit.

Loughgall Youth officials aim to enter the season with additional coaching staff and players due to a successful summer recruitment drive.

Alex Clifford has been confirmed as coach of the parent club’s under 20s’ Development League side.

Strong links are expected across the under 20s, under 17s and under 16s - with the latter two teams on the National League roster.

The Academy’s Mid-Ulster Games Development Centre programme will include two teams for each age group from the under sevens to under 10s.

The Lisburn and Mid-Ulster league programmes will be covered by the under 11s, under 12s, under 13s, under 14s and under 15s.

“Last season was successful and highlights included Keith Kearney signing a two-year scholarship contract at Rochdale plus four players progressing into the County Armagh squads for the SuperCupNI,” said Loughgall Youth’s Ernie Smyth. “We also had a debut season for the Girls’ Academy programme and can now boast boys’ teams in every age group from the under sevens to under 17s.

“Our tournament in Richhill attracted teams from across Northern Ireland and club sides also made trips to Manchester and Glasgow.

“Of course, Northern Ireland’s Luke McCullough is another former Loughgall Youth player and he was in France at EURO 2016.

“We have plans to put 24 members of the coaching team into the Irish Football Association Level One course later this year.

“We are still looking for people to join our coaching roster.

“We also want to offer coaching to the club goalkeepers.

“Any players interested in joining can make contact on 07853233401 or via Facebook.”

Loughgall’s latest senior pre-season friendly featured a 2-0 defeat on Tuesday to Ballymena United.

It marked another warm-up game following friendly fixtures to date with Dungannon Swifts, Portadown and Ards.

Loughgall visit Seapatrick tomorrow (Saturday) from 2 o’clock in Banbridge’s Havelock Park.

Date changes have been confirmed for Loughgall’s fixtures with Annagh United in Championship One.

The Villagers will visit Annagh on Friday, August 26 from 7.30 in a switch to the original August 27 date. Annagh hit the road to Lakeview Park on November 12.