Grassroots development remains the aim of the game at Ards, writes Patrick Van Dort.
Central to Colin Nixon’s decision to reject interest from Glentoran and stay as Ards boss was faith in the future.
Nixon is adamant Ards fans can expect continued promotion of the club’s most promising players into first-team action over the forthcoming campaign.
“We made massive reductions last season in the age of the squad and will maintain that investment in youth,” said Nixon. “We have around 10 or so on the periphery as it stands of the senior side pushing for places this season.
“The young players were given chances last season and grabbed those opportunities.
“Overall, we trust the quality in the squad and will draw on the positives of last season and those experiences.”
Nixon views securing senior states as his Premiership priority.
“Given the size of our budget, staying up has to be the main objective,” he said. “It is a tough, tough league and I’m sure clubs coming up will view us as a potential scalp.
“We respect the quality of those promoted clubs, along of course with those still in the division from last season.
“It takes time for any signings to bed in but we have confidence in the ability in our squad.
“But it does not just come down to ability and you always need the right level of work-rate and overall application to achieve your goals.
“Time will tell but we go into the season with our objectives clear and encouraged by so many positive aspects from last season.”