Hill: New signings will strengthen squad

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THREE more new faces arrived at Dixon Park this week as Ballyclare Comrades bid to bolster their Championship Two promotion prospects.

Strikers Chris Shimmon (ex-Bangor) and Mark Wilkinson (ex-Harland & Wolff Welders) and defender Chris Getty (ex-Ballymoney United) are the new recruits. Along with Kyle Buckley, signed the previous week, this quartet will ensure that there will be keen competition for places.

Manager Eddie Hill was in buoyant mood as the Reds now focus on league action following involvement in the Steel & Sons Cup, the Intermediate Cup and the Irish Cup.

“From now on, it’s all about league points,” stressed Eddie. “The four signings should strengthen our squad significantly, and I have every confidence that we will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

“We have matches in hand, and we must turn these into points,” he said.

“We have been rather light up front with Ricky Higgins our only recognised striker, so Shimmon and Wilkinson will give us options in that department.

“Chris Shimmon played for Bangor against us last week, while Mark Wilkinson might be known to some of our fans, having played for our youth teams a few years ago. They are in their early 20s, and I hope that they settle in quickly.

“Chris Getty is a big, strong defender who has played for Ballymoney against us on several occasions, and I am expecting a lot from him and the other newcomer from Ballymoney, Kyle Buckley, who will give us options on the left side.

“As regards signings, that’s it; no more. I now have a strong squad that I hope will bring consistency to our performances.

“The arrival of the new lads will certainly up the tempo at training, with everyone knowing that their position could be challenged,” he added.

The influx of new talent should also benefit reserve-team manager, Jonty Watson, who will be able to beef up his side with the inclusion of some of the senior squad fringe players.