MONEYSLANE have made a signal of their intent for their first season of intermediate football by signing ex-Newry City defender Cullen Feeney.
Feeney, the brother of Slane striker Lee, has already received a warm welcome from the club ahead of Saturday’s Intermediate B season opener against Portadown side Hanover.
“He will now play alongside his brother Lee who is already at the Club and has had a tremendous impact in the short time he has been here,” a club spokesperson said.
“Cullen is an experienced Irish League player, having won the title with Portadown, spent two seasons at Glentoran and played last season with Newry City.
“His experience, both on and off the pitch, will be a massive boost to Moneyslane Football Club this season.
The new season begins for the district’s intermediate and junior football teams this Saturday and the first games see Seapatrick begin Intermediate A with a trip to Markethill Swifts. That is, of course, if the league even begins with the threat of an injunction hanging over the division from Dollingstown, who have taken their case over the player ineligibility row to court, meaning last year’s title still isn’t decided.
There will be a fierce local rivalry in Intermediate B with no fewer than three local sides going head to head to gain promotion.
They have all managed to avoid each other on the opening day, with AFC hosting Lurgan Town at Cheney Park and Banbridge Rangers going to Portadown to play Seagoe as well as that Moneyslane game.
In Division Two Scarva Rangers play host to Tullyvallen, while in Division Three Donacloney host Rectory Rangers at the Holms.
Elsewhere Dromore Amateurs get their 2011/12 season up and running on Saturday with a tricky away fixture to Groomsport.
Manager Barry Taylor says he will be looking for his team to burst out of the blocks and pick up a positive result as they embark on another campaign in division 1C of the Northern Amateur League.
Pre-season has been a busy time for the Amateurs, with the focus this year on getting the players as much ‘match practice’ as possible. A packed schedule of friendly fixtures saw Dromore slip to defeat against Ballynahinch United (3-1), Dungannon Rovers (3-0), Banbridge Rangers (2-0), and Seapatrick (4-1).
But Dromore savoured victories over Seapatrick (3-2), Wesley (5-3), and Downshire (3-2). Manager Taylor believes his team are fighting fit and ready for the big kick-off on Saturday. “Groomsport will be strong opposition on their home patch and always play good football but we’ve put a lot of hard work into our pre-season preparations and the players are hungry for some competitive action, so it should be a good match and I’m confident we can come home with a result,” he said.
After Groomsport on Saturday, Dromore dive straight back into league action the following Tuesday night (August 16) with another away trip, this time to Iveagh United. Kick off is 6.30pm.
For Rathfriland Rangers the 20011/12 season gets under way this Saturday with Brian Adair’s men in action at home to Orangefield OB in their first league fixture of the Amateur League Division 1B season.
Then on Tuesday evening, August 16, Rangers are also at home to Bangor rangers in a second league fixture in the space of three days.
Dromara will once again be managed by Phil McDonagh who is going into his fourth full season as manager. He will be assisted by his brother Gavin McDonagh with Jim Watson helping co-ordinate training.
Last season saw Dromara have their most successful season in the Amateur league. Border Cup winners and a 4th place league finish was just rewards for all the hardwork put in over the last few years by everyone at the club.
Dromara have been very active on the transfer front with five new signings adding class and depth to an already strong and settled squad which has been together for the best part of four years.
Phil will be looking to new signings Philip Rogan,one of the best players in the local game to add his experience and undoubted class along with former Coventry City, Bangor and Harland + Wolf defender Stephen Munn to help take Dromara to the next level.
Dromara are still looking to possibly bring in one more striker before the transfer deadline as they aim to cover for the loss of prolific striker Declan O’Connor who has moved to Lisburn Distillery.
Dromara have enjoyed pre season wins over Sport and Leisure, Crusaders Reserves and Downshire and Phil will be pushing his players to improve on last years 4th place finish and to give the Dromara faithful a few more cup runs.