AFTER a superb season Armagh City will hoping to grab third place in the highly competitive Belfast Telegraph Championship Two this Saturday, May 4.
Successive defeats away to Ballyclare Comrades and Lurgan Celtic meant that the Holm Park side’s bid for promotion fizzled out with just one competitive league match remaining.
But City can still collect third place in the championship should they win away at Ballymoney United on Saturday, although they will be relying on Celtic dropping maximum points against either Wakehurst or Killymoon in their outstanding fixtures.
This is a disappointing end for Armagh who were either in the top or runners-up spot for much of the year.
But strong unbeaten runs from both Ballyclare and Lurgan brought them right back into the fray and, in the end, City were the team to suffer.
However, this was still a very successful season for the young Armagh outfit.
At the start of 2012-13 a ‘top-eight’ place was earmarked but, to their credit, the local lads exceeded this expectation easily and, with some luck, could have been playing at a higher level!
But it was not to be this time around and attention will now focus on preparations for August.
It is hoped talented young players like Ultan Lennon, Dara Noonan, Ryan McGerrigan, Dale Montgomery, Matthew Hynds, Gerard Grimley and Stephen Murray will all re-sign and that strength and depth can be added to the squad for future campaigns.
Club captain Liam Cullen has had a great season and, along with several of the more experienced signings, Philip Donnelly, Paul Carville (pictured) and Shea McGerrigan, there should be a strong nucleus to make another promotion bid.
The squad has steadily improved over the last two seasons and only a few more competitive players are needed to guarantee even greater success.
Armagh City Football Club remain ambitious and this will be seen in all its glory when a new 4G pitch is developed at Holm Park during the summer.
Now at the tender stage, the scheme is a three-way enterprise involving the local club, Armagh City and District Council and the Sports Council of Northern Ireland.
When completed, it is hoped an attractive fixture can be arranged for the official opening.
No doubt this will be a topic of conversation when Armagh City FC hold their annual player’s dinner and presentations in the Armagh City Hotel on Saturday evening, May 11.
A number of guests have been invited to the event but the night is seen as a ‘thank-you’ to all the players – at every level in the club – who have given everything and brought so much success to Holm Park in 2012-13.
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