Feeney’s positive pre-season outlook

Feeney’s positive pre-season outlook

Neil Watson


BANGOR’S pre-season schedule is well underway as the Seasiders prepare for another season in the Championship.

On Monday night, Lee Feeney’s men defeated Premier Intermediate League side Knockbreda at Clandeboye Park in their latest friendly, where after a scrappy first half Bangor seized control thanks to goals from Tom Mathieson and Ben Cushnie.

While the visitors halved the deficit, new signing Kielan Reid slammed home Bangor’s third before Marty Bradley rounded off the scoring late on.

That result comes on the back of a draw with Premiership side Loughgall last weekend, with Cushnie on target for the Seasiders before the Villagers equalised with the last kick of the game.

For Lee Feeney though, results are almost an irrelevance at this time of the season. Instead the Bangor manager is focussing on the fitness of his players and carefully managing their game time to get them ready for the rigours of a new season.

“At this stage, pre-season is all about getting minutes into the legs of the players,” he explained.

“Results are not important whatsoever, it’s all about getting the players back up to speed in the right way and looking after them. We’ve had three games so far but no one has played a full 90 minutes yet.

“In our first game against Queen’s, we played two different sides in each half, then against Loughgall and Knockbreda we split the players so that they got an hour in one match and thirty minutes in the other.

“When we play Linfield at home this Saturday (2pm), there might be a couple of players who get a full match as we start to build into the next stage of our pre-season.”

Feeney has continued to be active in the transfer market with the addition of 19 year-old defender Kielan Reid. The teenager joins the Seasiders from Linfield where he spent the last four seasons, captaining Linfield Swifts in their most recent campaign.

Watching how all of his new recruits fit into the squad has been a big positive for the Bangor manager.

He said: “I know what all of our new signings can do and that’s why we brought them to the club, but they have all slotted into the squad really well.

“They are taking everything on board, working really hard and they are enjoying being at the club. Robbie Garrett came in to play for the first time on Monday night and he’s a big personality in the dressing room – the boys look up to him, so that type of experience is going to be invaluable for us this season.”

Feeney continued: “There’s no sense of resting on laurels in the dressing room, everyone knows that they have to work so hard and be on it every week if they want to stay at this football club and that’s a great mentality.

“As well as the new signings, I’ve been really pleased with a lot of the talented young kids from our Academy that we’ve got a look at in pre-season.

“The likes of Ryan Nixon, Jack McCosh, Caden McKee and Sonny Redford have all featured for us and they are getting their opportunity to show why they should be pushing into the first team squad this season.”