The Danske Bank Premiership is back for the new season and there is cracking game to open the campaign as Crusaders travel to Ballymena United on Friday night (kick off 7.45pm). Both sides have had good pre seasons and also European football in the build up to the opener and both are chomping at the bit to get started.
Crusaders have new signings Brian Jensen, Mark McChrystal, Sean Ward and Mark McAllister available for selection but Jamie Glackin will not play due to a suspension carried over. Colin Coates also makes a welcome return to Premiership action while the squad members not available are Sean O'Neill and Ross Holden who are both recovering from long term injury. Stephen Baxter will keep everyone guessing to the last minute as to his team selection and given the effort, sharpness and performances of everyone it will be hard work to make those selections. Brian Jensen will start in goals and in front of him it could be Billy Joe Burns, Colin Coates, Howard Beverland and Rodney Brown although Mark McChrystal could have a roll also. Midfield is again the area that has so much talent in it is nearly impossible to say who will line up. Paul Heatley and Gavin Whyte should be the two on the flanks and after that pick a possible two or three from the players that are left to take up the central midfield role. Up front Jordan Owens will lead the line again in what will be his testimonial year. The entire squad is ready and focused on the new challenge and the management team have left nothing to chance either and they feel confident as the season begins.
Ballymena United will be wanting to get off to a bright start in this seasons Premiership and David Jeffreys has been busy in the transfer market bringing in no less than six new faces including ex Crusaders players Emmet Friars and Michael Gault. He will want his side to build on last seasons success and they will be left in no doubt the expectation has grown around the club to go to the next level.
So the wait is over and the season begins. The only thing left is to get to the game and we would love to see a massive crowd travelling to the game and wearing Red and Black. Admission pric has risen slightly for Adults to £11 and Concession remains at £7. Let's get out in numbers and show we will be behind Crusaders again all season. See you at the game. Keep The Faith