Whites squad takes shape

Lisburn Distillery manager Tommy Kincaid (centre) with new signings Stephen Boyd (left) and Dean Heasley. Picture - David Hunter.

Lisburn Distillery manager Tommy Kincaid (centre) with new signings Stephen Boyd (left) and Dean Heasley. Picture - David Hunter.

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Lisburn Distillery’s squad is taking shape for the 2015/16 season, with more new additions arriving this week.

Following recent signings, the Whites have added two more players to their squad for next season, and boss Tommy Kincaid said he is “looking forward” to working with the young players the club has brought in.

Midfielder Kevin Hughes has joined the club from Donegal Celtic having originally made his debut for the Hoops three seasons ago, going on to become a regular name featuring in their line up.

Meanwhile, Distillery’s Polish midfielder Artur Kopyt has also put pen to paper and agreed to sign for another season.

It was of course all smiles last week when Niall Derry, Stephen Boyd and Dean Heasley signed new contracts.

Returning the fold after being away for a short period of time, the club welcomed back defender Derry who was formerly with Stoke City and forward Michael Fegan who came up through their academy set up.

Looking ahead to next season, Kincaid said: “The squad is basically finished.

“I’m happy with the squad this year. We’ve progressed from we have taken over having nobody here to having signed the players we want.

“I think we’ve moved Distillery in the right direction and I feel the squad can compete.

“We’ve a lot of good, experienced players coming back and I’m looking forward to working with the young players we have signed.

“We have pace in the team, these kids have talent and ability and an attitude that they want to win and they want to learn,” Kincaid commented.

Other new arrivals so far include Denver Taggart and Gareth Ringland.

Meanwhile, the club also welcome back Ryan McBride, Marty Jones, Darren Nixon, Bradley Morton, Mikey Withers, Keiran O’Connor, Kevin Short, Darren Smyth, Sean Southam, Peter Sargent, Jim McIlhagga, Ryan Corrigan, Neale McLarnon and last but by no means least Jordan Morrison, who moves from the Youth squad into the senior set up.

The Whites boss added: “Three go down in the league this year so there is a lot more pressure, but hopefully we won’t be looking over our shoulders.

“It’s a tough league and anything can happen, but our main target is always to get promotion to the premier league.

“A top six slot is what we are looking at and we’ll see where we go from there.

“I’m a wee bit jealous too, because anywhere I’ve been I’ve won something. We were so close to the final of the Intermediate Cup, so to have a wee cup run and get to a final would be great.”

The Whites begin training for next season tomorrow (Saturday) and they have a number of difficult pre-season fixtures coming up, which should stand them in good stead for the season ahead.

“We’ve got a very good, tough, pre-season this year,” said Kincaid.

“We’re playing four premier league sides in Glentoran, Ballymena United, Dungannon Swift and Coleraine, as well as a few amateur league sides, so there’s a good mix.

“We have eight friendlies, but we have such a big squad we need to get everyone a game.

“The hard work starts here for next season,” the boss added.