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Jamie Harney says Cliftonville are primed for one of the most difficult assignments the opening weekend of Danske Bank Premiership action could have delivered.

The Reds welcome a new-look Glentoran side to Solitude for their first League outing since a 2-0 victory over Mick McDermott’s men at The Oval back in March and, though the teams have since locked horns in a late-July Irish Cup semi-final, Harney admits the east Belfast outfit will be an entirely different proposition this time around.

“If you look at the signings Glentoran have made over the summer, they’re nearly a completely different team,” says the 24-year-old.

“They already had a lot of serious footballers in their squad and they’ve added quality on top of that, so we know to expect as tough a game as possible.”

Both teams warmed up for tomorrow’s encounter with back-to-back wins on County Antrim Shield duty this week – teeing up a coincidental last-four meeting at the beginning of next month – and Harney believes that he and his team-mates will be striving to rediscover the form that was brought to an abrupt halt by football’s shutdown seven months ago.

“We felt like we were building towards a strong finish to the season and our performances and results backed that up,” he explains.

“We had an Irish Cup semi-final to come and were looking forward to that but, when it eventually came around in July, it wasn’t the same and any momentum we’d built up was long gone.

“We’ve started all over again with the games this week and now it’s great to have the League beginning again. It’s been a long wait and I know everybody involved can’t wait to get started.”

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