With pre-season preparations now in full flow prior to the start of the League of Ireland First Division campaign, newly appointed Athlone Town manager, Adrian Carberry, is striving to make further signings ahead of the closure of the January transfer window at month end.
Speaking this week to the Athlone Advertiser, the former St. Mel's Park favourite noted the relevant level of dedication required as he makes his inaugural strides in senior football management.
"Most definitely, it is an honour to be asked to become manager of your home town club. I am thoroughly enjoying the role to date and it does require serious commitment from a day to day perspective, but with the league commencing next month we have to be best prepared for the campaign ahead," Adrian commented.
Athlone played their first pre-season game on Friday night last, a 2-0 loss to Shelbourne, and with only four players featuring from the 2019 playing squad, Adrian is currently trialing players as signings now become paramount prior to the opening league encounter against Galway United.
"We are trialing players during pre-season games at the moment and we travelled with twenty two players to Abbotstown on Friday night including four members of the current U19 squad. However, we have limited striking options at present and this is an area of the pitch we will have to reinforced in the next two weeks," Adrian reflected.
Presently training four occasions per week on the club's home pitch at Lissywollen, the former St. Peter's youth footballer has made two additions to his backroom team, with Ian Bolger (goalkeeping coach ) and former Limerick City player, Declan Considine (strength and conditioning ) joining the first team management set-up.
"We will be finalising playing personnel before the January window closes. There are footballers who have been in touch with me and want to come and play for the club - we just have to decide if they are the right fit for Athlone Town," Adrian remarked.
Athlone continue their pre-season preparations with three home fixtures in a ten day period, commencing with a Lissywollen date against St. Patrick's Athletic on Wednesday, January 29 (7.30pm ko ). Sligo Rovers visit the venue on Saturday, February 1 (2pm ko ), with Finn Harps providing the final pre-season opposition on Saturday, February 8 (1pm ko ).
Athlone commence their League of Ireland First Division playing journey with an away fixture against Galway United on Friday, February 21.