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Leagues apart

The 2017/18 Danske Bank Premiership season was officially launched at Windsor Park this evening.

Cliftonville commence their campaign in Saturday’s Solitude showdown with Ards, when Barry Gray takes charge of the Reds for the first time competitively, and all 12 top-flight Clubs joined forces tonight to crank-up the countdown to the big opening weekend.

NI Football League Managing Director Andrew Johnston is excited at what promises to be a tightly contested campaign, commenting: “Last season we witnessed one of the most dramatic title races in recent times with the destination of the Gibson Cup determined on a nail biting last day of the season.

“Linfield will be keen to retain their title but it won’t be easy as all 12 Clubs have set about their business in recent months to strengthen their playing squads for the new season.”

Nicola McCleery, Head of Marketing at Danske Bank, said: “We’re very proud to be entering our sixth season as title sponsors of the Danske Bank Premiership. Our partnership with the Northern Ireland Football League in both the Men’s and Women’s Premierships is very important to us; it not only allows us to play our part in the community but also provides good visibility for our brand given the strong following behind all the clubs. We are delighted to be here at Windsor Park and alongside the teams, the fans and the followers that make the Premiership such a success. We look forward to an exciting season ahead.”