COMMENT: Two Terrys evidence of Dungannon Swifts’ recovery shoots despite defeat

In the search for a solution to Dungannon Swifts’ run of defeats stretching back to early October, manager Kris Lindsay wound the club clock back even further.

By Patrick Van Dort
Monday, 16th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 1:29 am
Dungannon Swifts boss Kris Lindsay. Pic by INPHO.
Dungannon Swifts boss Kris Lindsay. Pic by INPHO.

The return of Swifts legend Terry Fitzpatrick at 37 years old marked a clear bid by the boss to inject welcome experience into his young squad.

Another player with a deep connection to the Stangmore Park side, Dougie Wilson, was moved back from midfield into defence to add stability to a backline so porous across the double-figure tally of disappointments.

For a club with such a celebrated and vibrant commitment to youth development, it is unsurprising that Lindsay also opted to hand the next generation a chance to shine.

A decision forced by others’ lack of form or fitness alongside a belief in the fresh energy often provided by young players, Lindsay turned to teenage striker Ban Gallagher as part of his tactical change designed to change the Swifts’ fortunes.

Oisin Smyth may be considered something of a veteran under Lindsay’s management given his impressive progress over the past year but he remains another teenager - one capable of moments of class such as his weekend brace at Ballymena within the inevitable learning process both he and Gallagher must endure across these early stages of such promising careers.

Saturday’s senior debut for 16-year-old Terry Devlin marked another example of Lindsay’s faith in the grassroots work.

Victory over Warrenpoint Town finally managed to stop the rot for the Swifts and allowed the Dungannon club to visit Ballymena on Saturday with a clean slate and clear focus, free from the weight of the previous few months.

Although the scoreboard confirmed frustration after the final whistle, Lindsay can look back on the previous 90-plus minutes against Ballymena as continued signs of recovery.

The combination of experience and youth may prove key to a strong second half of the season.