As ‘Gers fans wait excitedly on the eve of tomorrow’s season opener away to Crusaders, Niall Currie has been speaking to us on how things have been going since gaining promotion and his thoughts on the campaign that beckons.
Appointed just over a year ago, Currie masterminded an incredible first season at the Loughshore Hotel Arena in which he transformed a struggling team into one which catapulted itself into the top flight of Northern Irish football thanks to three play-off wins in only six days.
Since that full-time whistle which sparked scenes of jubilation at the Bangor Fuels Arena, the Rangers supremo has been hard at work preparing for life in what is shaping up to be a highly competitive and challenging Danske Bank Premiership.
Speaking of the transfer business he has carried out throughout the close season, Currie said,
“What I love about our club is our realism. We all know what we can do and we have done our very best, thanks to the Chairman and the Board, to add experience to the squad which will help the great young players who helped us achieve what we did last season.”
With regards to any further business being conducted, Currie commented,
“We are still trying to strengthen, and it will maybe be a few games into the season before our squad is complete. However, I am 100% confident that the experience we have recruited in the likes of William Faulkner, Kyle Cherry and James Ferrin will be a massive help.”
Currie, who has previously managed in the Premiership with both Ards and Portadown, is under no illusions in regards to the difficulty of the task ahead and has outlined what he is looking for from his players.
“All I want is honesty. We understand that we are one of the favourites for relegation, but we were expected to finish mid-table last season and so we know we are capable of proving people wrong. The gulf in this league is getting bigger as there are now full-time teams as well as those who are training up to four nights a week. Realistically, we will be fighting in a league within a league and how we perform in those games will define our season.”
In his final words, Currie took the opportunity to send an open message to all ‘Gers supporters and club stakeholders as his side prepare for the start of a new campaign.
“To everyone involved with Carrick Rangers, and especially our fans, please, please stay with us. I am not from Carrickfergus, but I know the great potential that our club has. Our crowds for all three of the play-off games last season were unbelievable and gave the players great backing and belief. We need our town to believe in us and back us again. We know that this season will be difficult, but I promise one thing. You will have a group of players that will represent the town and club with everything they have. That is all I ask.”
“We will go through tough stages, but that is when your backing will be crucial. Our Chairman and Board are working so hard to show the ambition we have: a new education suite, press box, control room, the ground fully painted - all things to show we are not standing still. So I ask our town, get behind us and stay with us, we are your club and we want to celebrate the success we have this season with a great crowd.”
This is your town, your community and your club. Carrick Rangers return to the Danske Bank Premiership tomorrow at Seaview, get along and cheer on the lads from the very first whistle! #AmberArmy