It’s a case of one in and one out for Limavady United as their season kicks off this weekend.
The Roesiders signed former Coleraine striker Shane Jennings, but skipper Hugh Carlin is out for a number of weeks after having surgery.
He (Shane Jennings) done well at Coleraine and I’m expecting big things off him this season.Paul Owens
The centre-back had a hernia operation and is likely to be out of action for a few months.
Boss Paul Owens was delighted to have added Jennings and he’s expecting a big season from the front man.
“Shane Jennings has returned to the club and he’ll give us something different,” he stated.
“Look you are never going to find a like for like replacement for Joe McCready.
“But now that we have lost Joe we have to change our style of play and Shane has proven qualities.
“He’ll bring a bit of muscle up top, which we lacked times last year. He done well at Coleraine and I’m expecting big things off him this season.”
United, who tonight play Newtowne in their final pre-season game, travel to near neighbours Portstewart this Saturday (KO 3pm) in the Bet McLean League Cup first round.
Limavady will be missing Carlin and striker Jordan Thompson (holidays) this weekend in a tie which Owens feels will be a tough test for his squad.
“It’s going to be a tough game, as there’s a bit of a rivalry against Portstewart,” he stated.
“We have a good record down there but it’s always a difficult game.
“But hopefully we can progress and then get in with the big boys and that’s the incentive for the players.
“We have had a few good results, a few stand out games and a few disappointing results, but we don’t really look at the results during pre-season.
“It’s the same as every year, I just try to get everyone as much game time as I can give them and as much opportunities in different positions, so they are ready for the first game of the season, because all eyes and focus is always for the first opening game of the season.”
After their clash at Mullaghacall, United start their Bluefin Sport Championship campaign with a home clash against Harland & Wolff Welders on August 12.
“It’s a big year for us in the Championship,” he added.
“It’s where we want to be and we have been fortunate to have hold onto virtually everybody, bar Joe and we have strengthened the squad, so everyone is looking forward to the season getting underway.
“I haven’t set any initial targets for ourselves but we’ll be aiming to try and finish as high as we can.”