Donald aims for top-four finish

ISLANDMAGEE boss Stephen Donald has set his sights on a top-four finish ahead of Saturday’s big kick-off in the Northern Amateur Football League.

The Premier Division outfit have been the top amateur league side in East Antrim over the last few years with Donald guiding his men to fourth, third and second-place finishes in three top-flight campaigns since thier promotion from Division 1A as champions in 2008.

He has introduced three new faces to his first-team squad over the summer: in comes goalkeeper Simon Steele from Malachians; centre-back Scott Cowie has joined from Wellington Rec; while Paul Gibb, who was with Kilroot Rec, has also put pen to paper with the Wilbourne Park club.

The only player to have left the club in the close-season is Wayne Patterson.

“It has been hard this summer trying to track people down but I’m pleased that everybody, bar one, has agreed to stay with us for the new season,” said Donald.

“The three I have brought in should be a real boost to the squad. Last year we scored lots of goals but, for me, we conceded too many and Scott (Cowie) will be good for us at the back. Paul (Gibb) plays centre-midfield and Steele is a good keeper so there should be good competition with David Harrison.

“So, we’ve strengthened, we wanted to bring more in but we’re happy enough with what we’ve got.”

Report by John Gillespie - [email protected]

Full story plus Amateur League club-by-club preview in this week’s Larne Times