Eddie Patterson confident his young charges will step up to the plate

Eddie Patterson has invested in youth at the Oval
Eddie Patterson has invested in youth at the Oval

Glentoran boss Eddie Patterson believes his ‘young guns’ are ready to come of age ahead of the new Danske Bank Premiership season.

Patterson is probably the only manager not to have played an active part in the transfer market over the summer months, but he is far from worried.

“I would like to add a few fresh faces, but I’m happy with what I’ve got,” he said.

“There is no point in delving into the market just for the sake off it. We have to be selective in the players we want.

“Obviously, the financial situation at the club is well documented. We just haven’t got the funds available to compete for the signature of ‘big players’.

“Even though we’ve lost a number of established, experienced players over the past few seasons, the budget was still cut, so the funds weren’t there.

“We balanced that by bringing in a number of players – basically, we needed bodies and those lads served their purpose.

“Now we need to add a little bit of quality. Anyone signed needs to be better than what we have at the club.”

Patterson, however, insists that having David Howland and Marcus Kane available again is like ‘signing two new players’.

“I’m thrilled to have the boys back again,” he added. “David missed all of last season, while Marcus picked up his injury half way through the term.

“They are back in full training again. We are still building up their match fitness, so the weekend game at Cliftonville may come just too soon for them.

“We intend to nurse them in gradually, but it’s a massive bonus to have them available again.”

Patterson makes no apology for sticking with a crop of kids that have already made a significant impact at the Oval.

“The did really well last season,” he added.

“They are still learning. But the likes of Jim O’Hanlon, Calum Birney and John McGuigan have really emerged and have become permanent fixtures in the team.

“We probably used young Jordan Stewart more than we would have liked have last season due to injuries and suspensions, while Danny McKee came in around Christmas time and was breath of fresh air. Kym Nelson also had a strong second half to the season.

“Believe it or not, he has just completed his first pre-season training.

“So there is plenty to be excited about. If we could possibly add a little bit of experience and quality, it would complete the jigsaw.

“I’ve a few irons in the fire and I’m still hopeful.”