COMMENT: January joy in transfer market the goal for Dungannon Swifts and rivals
It is a reality of football’s transfer market that those with the greatest need often must operate within the greatest limitations.
Dungannon Swifts sit on one win from 11 league games, having initially kicked off the season unbeaten across the opening four.
Key to that early success was a reshaped defence featuring Caomhan McGuinness and a frontline with Ryan Waide in sparkling form.
Both teenagers arrived at Stangmore Park on loan deals from Linfield in search of playing time and experience to benefit one club on a short-term basis and another over the long term.
Saturday’s loss to 10-man Larne featured a defensive lapse by McGuinness to gift Martin Donnelly the game’s decisive moment, with Waide presented an opportunity to find the net but unable to take full advantage.
Both players will gain from the pain of those disappointments and have each certainly offered evidence across the opening few months with the Swifts of the ability to hone potential into an end product.
The harsh truth remains that clubs with the Swifts’ limited financial resources must, in the majority, continue to seek potential over proven end product - or, as in the case of Michael Carvill and Ross Redman, offer those with senior experience a second chance at regular first-team football following frustration at other high-profile clubs.
The capture of Sam Johnston as a target coveted by a series of rivals but ultimately sold on the Swifts will remain a welcome rarity, especially in a January window renowned for limited value.
As a result, Lindsay’s attempts to revive a panel presumably suffering a shortage of confidence off current form may focus on gambles and the chance to provide a spot on the senior stage to players at opposite ends of the experience scale.
It is a frustration felt by all clubs enduring life at the lower end of the league table at a time when fresh faces are most required to inject fresh blood for the season’s vital second half.