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Starter’s orders

Manager Paddy McLaughlin has welcomed news of a provisional start date for the new Danske Bank Premiership season.

The NI Football League last week revealed Saturday, October 17 as an indicative date for the campaign to begin and McLaughlin, whose side overcame Crewe United in the weekend’s Tommy Breslin Memorial Cup tie, is looking forward to stepping up preparations in the weeks ahead.

“It will be nice to start thinking about training and friendlies and things like that now that we have a date to count down to,” he explains.

“It’s still quite a bit away so we won’t be doing anything just yet, especially because the players will have another short while off after all the hard work they put in during the build up to the Irish Cup semi-final last month, but now it’s a case of getting things set up and organised for whenever they do come back.

“There’ll be a mad scramble for friendlies involving every Club and it’s nice that we’re in that situation where we can all start planning ahead. Having a date to work towards is a big relief for everyone and I’m sure everybody involved in the Irish League can’t wait for it to come around.”