It’s a new-look Ballinamallard United for a new season in the Premiership.
Manager Whitey Anderson is hoping the revamp will shoot the Ferney Park side to the top half the Danske Bank Premiership this season – and repeat what they did in their first year in the top-flight.
The boys from Fermanagh set the place alight in their first season, earning plaudits right around football, but they were struck with second season syndrome last time.
But their primary aim was always to stay in the Premiership and Anderson believes this third season, they can really push forward.
Throughout last season they lacked goals, but this time out they have former Leeds United and Sligo Rovers striker Anthony Elding to spearhead their attack and the much talented former Strabane player Johnny Lafferty in the middle of the park.
“I’m excited to taste third season syndrome,” quirked Anderson.
“I know the players are too. They have been extremely hungry since coming back to pre season and know it has to be much better than last year. They have come back in very good condition with high fitness levels.”
Anderson has brought in seven fresh faces since January.
Left back Danny Keohane has gone to be replaced by Jake Dykes from Sligo and with Leon Carters back in the centre of the Ballinamallard defence along with captain Mark Stafford, things should be much tighter.
Add Elding, Lafferty and Raymond Foy on loan from Derry City and you can see why Anderson is so enthusiastic about the coming season.
“I believe our backline will be much tighter this time out. We conceded too many soft goals last season, but we lost a lot of games by a single goal. We had to address that and if we can keep everyone fit then I think it will work fine,” Anderson added.
“I think this season we will be a bigger threat going forward and you will see that early on.”