Last season the January transfer dealings of Ballyclare manager Eddie Hill helped secure promotion, and fans are hoping he has still got the Midas touch.
Hill has significantly strengthened with the acquisition of Denver Gage (ex-Ballymena), Liam Prigent (Immaculata), George Young (Wakehurst) and Ryan Dunlop (Newington YC).
The Reds’ credentials will be put to the test with clashes looming against Dundela (Intermediate Cup) and Carrick Rangers (Irish Cup), but before that, there is this weekend’s trip to Donegal Celtic.
Suffolk Road is a difficult place to pick up league points and supporters are speculating on how many new faces will be introduced for this Championship 1 fixture.
Only centre-back Gage was used in last Saturday’s 3-0 Irish Cup win over Kilmore Rec. Young and Dunlop were both cup-tied, while the paperwork was not completed in time for Prigent’s transfer from Immaculata.
Hill said the arrival of quality players will put pressure on everyone and that it was up to the players to hold on to their starting places.
“George Young and Ryan Dunlop got match time with the reserves, while Denver came off the bench against Kilmore, so I have plenty of options,”said Hill.
“Denver impressed me and strikers will certainly know when he is around.”