NW FOOTBALL: Lisahally start as favourites

Lisahally will again be the team to catch in the North West Junior Premier Division.
Lisahally will again be the team to catch in the North West Junior Premier Division.

The new North West Junior League season gets under way this weekend and it promises to be hotly contested race as a lot of teams have been busy in the transfer market.

Anyone of six or seven teams could win the title this season with clubs making some good signings.

Here is the runners and riders for the season ahead.

Ardmore: Damien McGee enters his ninth year at the helm. They have lost Ryan Doherty and Dean Brown to Tobermore, Johnny Hume to Lisahally and Gerald Kelly to Tullyally but have added William McVeigh Daryl Brown, Tom Carlin, Davy O’Brien and Matt Patterson.

Will see them challenge on all fronts.

Lisahally: Last season’s champions will again be pushing for the title under new joint gaffers Petie Doherty and Mark Duffy. Local boy Johnny Hume returns to an already strong squad and with a new Reserve team they will not lack in numbers. One of the title favourites.

Claudy Rovers: Tony White’s outfit lost out on the title on the final day last season so they’ll be determined to go one step further this season. With all of the same squad retained and addition of a few young local players added they’ll again be challenging for the title.

Foyle Wanderers: The Wanderers have been busy in the transfer market over the summer and have added Nicky Cooke and Matthew Pierce from BBOB, young Wayne Glenn from Newbuildings; Sam Malcary, Dee O’Hara from City Colts and Dylan Rutherford returns after injury, they are certainly one of the favourites list for the title.

Drummond: A side that always promises much but in recent season have failed to deliver. Player manager Crockett has moved to Newtowne so the Limavady men are under new management. They’ve lost a few of last season’s squad but have strengthened and will be a handful as always. Only consistency lacking but if they sort that out then they will be challengers.

Lincoln Courts: Under joint gaffers Wayne Glenn and Colin Patterson the Casuals will hope to put a few barren years behind them. With the returning Gary King in their midfield and a few of their youth players coming through who’s to say they can’t challenge.

Roe Rovers: Rovers 20th season in football and it could be their most difficult. Runaway First Division winners last season but the Roe men lost a lot of last season’s squad. They still have Conor Mullan, captain Matty Hamilton and Tommy Hassan, while it could be a big year for duo Darell Mulgrew and Dillon Moore.

Newbuildings: Newly promoted Newbuildings will have much the same squad as last season. A mix of youth and experience should see them give opposition sides problems.

BBOB: The word from the BBOB camp is they’ve added a few players to their squad, but with the loss of Cooke, Pierce and Dougherty as well as Gary Collett, means it could be a long season for the old boys.

Draperstown Celtic: If Celtic can maintain the progress they’ve made in the last couple of seasons they will be pushing for the title.

Nothing knowing about the ins and outs of their squad but they should be there or thereabouts come the end of season.