TODAY, we welcome the players, officials and supporters of Knockbreda Football Club to Inver Park.
We are looking forward to an entertaining encounter as we endeavour to make up for the points dropped in our season opener at Breda Park.
Under Lee Forsythe, Knockbreda are in a decent run of form. Having garnered ten points from a possible fifteen, they find themselves sitting in fifth place and high on confidence following last week’s defeat of Dergview. As we found out at their place in August, no quarter will be asked or given and we will have to work incredibly hard if we are to continue our long unbeaten run at Inver Park.
Last week’s result at the Welders showed a different side to this squad. Yes, we all know they can play a fantastic brand of high tempo, free flowing football, but many outsides of Inver Park questioned did we have the qualities to roll our sleeves up, dig deep and fight? I think in the second half the boys dispelled that myth in spades and I doff my cap to them for that.
The week that saw Halloween was somewhat a tale of the ‘Sorceror and the Apprentice’. On Saturday, Jeff Hughes unfortunately had to leave the park with a knee injury and young Liam Hassin inspired the comeback with an uber confident finish belying his tender years. In the week that has ensued, early fears around the severity of Jeff’s injury have been allayed and he has trained without complication onThursday and Friday. Liam on the other hand has enjoyed a week in Scotland with Rangers, training and playing in a ‘bounce game’. I’m sure given the positivity both guys will be feeling for differing reasons, they will be busting a gut to be selected tomorrow; a nice problem for the gaffer to have.
Before moving on from last Saturday, it was great to have been afforded a home tie in the semi final of the County Antrim Shield. As tough a tie as Crusaders will present, having them under the lights at Inver, in front of our faithful fans excites me. Maybe that’s the old romantic in me, but hey, we’ll see were it takes us. The tie, to be played on Tuesday 27th November will be all ticket and details of prices and availability will be announced this incoming week after consultations between both clubs and the Senior Shield committee conclude.
As I hinted last week, our latest campaign ‘Bring them Home’ was launched on Tuesday to much fanfare and media interest. This campaign will certainly grow as we move closer to the festive season. I thank Gavin and the marketing team for their hard work in bringing this brainchild to life and I look forward with interest to seeing how it unfolds. I would also like to thank Louise and the members of LFSC Station Road for getting together this week to help us embrace and launch the campaign. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.
Before concluding, let me give you a quick update on the second stage of our ongoing ground redevelopments. I can confirm that next pieces of the jigsaw to be undertaken will be to have the roof put back onto the terrace area next to the main stand. We await ‘strength test’ reports back but we hope to have this completed in advance of the Crusaders game. Secondly, we will be erecting netting on the riverside to try and stop the flow of balls disappearing into the abyss of the Inver River. This may seem a small development, but I can assure you the investment is sizeable.
Last, but not least, we are investigating the possibility of building a small stand at the ‘Bleach Green’ end, not unlike one of those at Seaview. This would be in addition to the ‘Church End’ development and if everything goes according to plan could be up by the early part of the new year. Watch this space…
Finally, can I thank The Curran Court Hotel for their continued sponsorship of our pre-match preparations, Graham’s Pizza for our post-match food, our match sponsor Keenan Seafood, our match ball sponsor Antrim Coast Dance Academy and our Man of the Match sponsor, Classic Drinks in conjunction with Vallformosa.
See you at the church end…