Town need big signings to tee up promotion push

Banbridge's Mark Teggart is off to Australia and will be a miss for the Crystal Park side. INBL1517-245eb
Banbridge's Mark Teggart is off to Australia and will be a miss for the Crystal Park side. INBL1517-245eb

As a disappointing season slams shut, Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson is more determined than ever to ensure brighter times lie ahead.

The Town manager has plans for his side to be fighting it out a lot closer to the top of the table as soon as next season.

Ryan Gourley has impressed in his first season at Banbridge Town. INBL1517-246EB

Ryan Gourley has impressed in his first season at Banbridge Town. INBL1517-246EB

The summer sales will soon be underway and Watson knows that could be the most important time of the year if his ambitious plans are to come to fruition.

“I’m ambitious and want to push on so we need to get the right players in who can help us to do that,” he said.

“I don’t want to have another season like this one has been. I want to try and achieve things with the club, start winning matches and try to get promotion.

“This want club want to get out of this division as soon as possible and get into Championship One. But that depends on what players we can get in.

“Hopefully that will be the mindset of the club next season but we need to get in four, five or six players if that’s to be the case.

“They have to be the right standard to bring us to the top end of the table.”

Watson knows the challenge this summer brings as he battle for signatures against other local sides.

“It’s hard to attract the right players because of what other clubs in the area are able to offer and now Annagh United and Lurgan Celtic have Championship One football as well,” he admitted.

Nonetheless, Watson has already been ‘very active’ in chasing up potential additions to his squad and is hoping he will have some new faces secured in the near future.

“I have been speaking to people and have told them that I want to get things sorted out as soon as I can,” he said.

“I don’t want to be waiting for things all summer. I want yes or no answers within a week or two at the most so that we can begin to plan for pre-season.

“Lurgan Celtic and Annagh United are both big, physical sides who can grind out results if they need to. That helped them to go up so we need to be able to stand up to other teams as well.

“There’s nothing like having experienced players there who have already won medals either. If we could get a few in, they would really compliment the young guys at the club who are coming on leaps and bounds.”

The club’s deepest financial worries are, they hope, behind them but the boss knows he still isn’t in a position to spend big.

“The club has had to do a lot of work on the financial side behind the scenes,” he said. “Now, the playing side of things has become stable and we need to get quality players in.

“We have to be sensible too. I’m not one for talking about silly money and that’s not what it’s about.”

Goal-scorer Ally Wilson, of course, left to return to Rathfriland Rangers before the end of the season while Watson is hoping only to lose one more member of his existing panel.

He said: “Most of the squad from last year that we want to stay have already signed. Nobody has come to me and said that they want to leave, which is a good sign. They know that we need to bring in some quality players but they all want to stay and be a part of what we are trying to do.

“The only player we have definitely lost is Mark Teggart, who is moving to Australia.”

A massive few weeks, then, lie ahead for Town - a period that could have a huge impact on how they perform next season.