Swilly Rovers FC
It has been a summer of change again at Swilly Park and the natives are seeing a new Swilly Rovers in action this season.
A Donegal News Ulster Senior League Cup clash at Fanad United on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 2pm) will bring Swilly face-to-face with some familiar faces.
Swilly have bid adieu to the likes of Tony McNamee, Kyle Black and Jordan Toland, all of whom lined out for Fanad last weekend in their Intermediate Cup defeat to Bonagee United.
Laurence Toland has signed for the champions, Cockhill Celtic, while Dylan Hegarty and Brandon Toye don the colours now of Rathmullan Celtic in the Donegal League.
“Unfortunately we lost a few players to other clubs,” says Swilly Rovers coach Marty McDaid, one of the mainstays of the Ramelton club.
“We’ve taken in a lot of young players, so hopefully they can step up to the plate. It has been a building process for us in the last couple of years, so hopefully the young lads can slot in and keep the building going.
“When you’re in an area like us, it’s a problem with a lot of teams clustered around.
“Cockhill, for example, only have one club in the area in the Senior League, but we’re surrounded by other clubs. It is competitive for players and you need to be out early.”
Swilly manager Gerry Crossan has added goalkeeper Sean Friel from Letterkenny Rovers.
Kennedy Boachie-Ansah, Conor Duggan, Ciaran McHugh, Eamon McHugh and Michael McHugh are among the other new recruits.
In the League Cup, Swilly have been bridesmaids, with defeats in five finals, to St Catherine’s in 1990, Letterkenny Rovers in 2002, Fanad United in 2005 and 2007 and, most recently, to Cockhill in 2014. They did beat Fanad in the 1999 final.
Swilly can’t advance to the semi-finals of the League Cup but will begin their Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League campaign on Sunday-week at home to Cockhill.
On the season ahead, McDaid says: “A successful season for us, with all the young boys coming in, we’ll get beaten in games, but so long as we’re not getting hammered. You don’t mind one or two-nil. You want to be competitive in most games.
“For the season, we want to be tough for teams to play. We’d be hoping for a mid-table finish, if we can.”
Sunday, September 24, 2pm
Donegal News Ulster Senior League Cup Group A
Fanad United v Swilly Rovers
Bonagee Utd v Finn Harps Reserves