NEWRY CITY AFC: Mark McCabe opts to stay as Stefan Lavery and Tiarnan Rushe sign up

Newry City AFC manager Darren Mullen (centre) with, from left, Stefan Lavery and Tiarn�n Rushe. Pic by Brendan Monaghan Photography.
Newry City AFC manager Darren Mullen (centre) with, from left, Stefan Lavery and Tiarn�n Rushe. Pic by Brendan Monaghan Photography.

Newry City AFC manager Darren Mullen appears determined to maintain the attacking momentum which secured the club promotion into the Danske Bank Premiership.

The fairytale rise of four promotions up the Irish League ladder across five seasons culminated into a move to the top tier from last season’s Bluefin Sport Championship via play-off success over Carrick Rangers.

Lauded for attractive attacking football, Mullen has indicated an ambition to extend that philosophy into a landmark senior campaign with the captures of Stefan Lavery and Tiarnan Rushe.

Another boost arrived with confirmation that free-scoring Mark McCabe will remain at The Showgrounds. He was linked with a summer move to Linfield.

“Stefan Lavery and Tiarnán Rushe are two lads that I’m sure will excite the fans,” said Mullen. “They are both attacking players with pace and skill and exactly what we will need for the coming season.

“Stefan already has Premiership experience with Dungannon Swifts and I’ve no doubt he will fit in with our style of play.

“Tiarnán is a player with great potential and has shown a willingness to commit to soccer this season.

“That’s four signings we have made who were on our list for the Premiership and, along with Mark resigning, it’s been a good day for the club.”

McCabe finished the Championship as the joint leading league scorer with 18 goals alongside Limavady United’s Robbie Hume.

“I was absolutely delighted when Darren approached me to talk about signing for the club, I made my first appearance in the Premiership with Dungannon Swifts when I was 15 and played in it for six or seven seasons so I know what to expect,” said Lavery. “I played against Newry last season with Portadown and admired the type of football the boys play and especially how tightknit the boys are.

“The whole story about Newry with the four promotions in five years definitely attracted me to the club, the work Darren and everyone at The Showgrounds has done is exceptional.

“I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Rushe was “over the moon” about his return to Newry.

“I followed the teams results last year and got down to The Showgrounds as often as I could,” he said. “I was massively impressed with the way the lads play.

“I’m delighted Darren has given me another chance at the club after the first short spell I had and I just can’t wait to get going now at this stage.”