Experienced duo will bolster Ballinamallard

Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes. Presseye Photography Picture  -  John McVitty
Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes. Presseye Photography Picture - John McVitty

Ballinamallard United boss Gavin Dykes is hoping the arrival of Richard Clarke and Ciaran Martyn will help fire the Ferney Park outfit on this season.

The midfield duo have a wealth of experience and honours to boot, and Dykes is delighted to have them on board.

“Andy Crawford has to take credit for the signing of Richard as they are best friends,” he explained.

“He is a fantastic addition for us as he has a wealth of experience.

“I’ve known Ciaran for a long time. He’s from Sligo, I managed him at Derry.

“He’s a unique player he might not kick a ball all game but he will come up with a goal.

“Again he has so much experience which will help the younger lads.”

Bringing Clarke and Martyn to Fermanagh is something of a coup for Dykes, who readily admitted he is usually left fighting over what’s left late on in the transfer window.

“It’s interesting to hear other managers say they like to get their business done early,” said Dykes.

“We can’t do that, we have to wait until all the other teams have done their business and see what we can get.

“I’m happy with what we have brought in. We have a few decent players, and we have a brought a few players in who nobody will know.

“I think they can cause a few surprises along the way.”

The Mallards finished last season strongly to ease any fears of being sucked into the relegation dog fight.

Dykes is hoping they can build on that this time out, but he knows it will be another battle as every team has stepped things up.

“We start off every year aiming to avoid the dreaded drop,” he said.

“Hopefully we can push on this year. We did alright last season, we finished 13 points ahead of the relegation spot in the end.

“So as I say we want to kick on, but it’s going to be difficult as everyone has strengthened again and there are no easy games in this league.

“We will try and make it as difficult as we can for everybody we come up against.

“It’s a tough start for us, but we are looking forward to it.”