17 February 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The countdown to the opening game of the season continues and with only 2 weeks left we are at our peak. We have spent the last 4 weeks training hard, with the lads committing every weekend without reward, so we are now going to wind things down a little as we prepare to take on Dundalk.
We have played pre-season friendlies at least once a week and while people may look at our results negatively, it doesn’t bother me at all as for me those games are a chance for me to see what the players can do. These games have given me a good look at the squad and now we just need to tidy things up a little. At the moment I could name 9 of my starting 11 for the Dundalk match, obviously depending on them not picking up injuries.
This preparation is very important and the squad is coming together nicely. We have a good mix of young talent and some experienced players who will guide them. Shaun Maher is one such example. I have worked with Shaun down the years and know what he is capable of. He is also taking on the role of my assistant manager which will be a terrific asset to us. He will be able to relay to the players on the pitch how we want to play and with his coaching skills will be able to encourage the lads throughout the match.
As I mentioned last week, we have a new kit from Nike. Our jerseys are top of the range and no other club in the world has our away one yet. We are the only Airtricity League of Ireland club to have kit by Nike, and its great to have such quality.
This weekend the squad are having a training session at Gortakeegan from 12.30 to 2pm which is open to the public to come and watch. There will also be a meet and greet session after the game where any fans can get to know the players. After that they will be spending some time in Monaghan getting to know the town and visiting some of the pubs who have been so good to the club in recent years.
So if you want to get a chance to get to know the players before the season starts, pop out to Gortakeegan or keep your eyes peeled for us in town. It’s the fans that make the club what it is and we need you behind us as we continue our upward progress and we can all look forward to an exciting 2012 season.

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