Southside Rangers looking forward to new challenge

Southside Rangers FC are looking forward to their first season in the adult ranks when the new campaign kicks off in August.

Robert Wright of R&S Scaffolding presents Southside Rangers FC players Sam McNiece and Ryan Corrigan with matchday sweatshirts for the new season.

The Wakehurst-based side were one of four new teams admitted to the Ballymena Saturday Morning League last week.

Having been part of Belfast Leagues since formation in 2009 the club now look forward to playing regularly in the local area.

Manager Colin Stewart said: “Since day one we have had limited opportunities to play regularly at Wakehurst in Ballymena. It’s something that had a major influence in the direction we all feel the club should be going.

“Afternoon leagues were always the less preferred option amongst the vast majority of local players as long as I can remember.

“People are quick to criticise the standard of the BSML but tend to forget that BSML teams have in the past and continue to win the top junior competitions. We all feel that this is the place to be.”

With the team now competing in adult league and cup competitions the restrictions have been lifted in regard to signing players of a certain age something the club have wasted no time in doing.

“The idea was to bring in several experienced players alongside the rest of the current squad.

I am delighted to have added four excellent players to the squad for the new season. Mark Crawford, Robert Wright, Dean Graham and Corey Godfrey have all signed for the club.

Mark joins the club having been with Wakehurst Fc for the past 10 years playing in the amateur leagues before moving to Irish League Championship 2 level.

Robert Wright holds legendary status in the BSML winning everything there was to win during his years with Carniny Rangers. And Dean and Corey arrive from Ballykeel Fc with a hunger for success and BSML Division One experience. These four players will not only influence games on their own but they will help improve the younger players in the group.

“The experience of ex Moylena goalkeeper Stevie Turner has also been added to the club in an effort to develop Stuart Wylie to his full potential and add cover between the posts if required.

“We lifted silverware in both the Belfast Youth leagues we played in over the past five years so obviously we will be looking to continue that but we are under no illusions as to what lies ahead,” added Colin, whose side will continue their sponsorship with local VW dealership Edwin May VW Ballymena.