Progress the goal for Tipton in top flight

Warrenpoint Town manager Matthew Tipton
Warrenpoint Town manager Matthew Tipton

Matthew Tipton’s faith in the collective strength of the fresh and familiar could prove the secret behind continued progress for Warrenpoint Town at Premiership level.

Tipton managed to guide Warrenpoint to Championship title glory last season after a mid-campaign appointment as manager following retirement from a successful professional playing career.

Having enjoyed an impact on the pitch in senior Irish League football with Portadown, Linfield and Ballymena United, Tipton is relishing a Danske Bank Premiership challenge from the other side of the white line.

Preparations for this weekend’s opening top-flight game essentially kicked into gear at Warrenpoint when the Championship prize was wrapped up in April.

“You are always watching as many games as possible and keeping tabs on players, plus talking to other people in the game,” said Tipton. “We managed to get our business done early overall and have a squad which should give us competition for places.

“People look at names such as Darren Murray, Martin Murray, Sean Mackle, Neil McCafferty and Alan Blayney and they obviously add senior experience.

“But we have also signed some players maybe under the radar of most observers who we have high hopes for moving forward, plus those from last season’s Championship success.

“It is about having the squad to deal with the intensity of the league alongside cups and we do not set targets as such but, in terms of keeping up the progress of the club, we must still be in the Premiership come the end of this season.

“We work the lads hard on the training pitch in terms of putting everything in place and the thinking is to assemble a squad of hungry, young players who can fit into the system by working together.”