As our 2019/20 club profile series enters it’s third day, Carrick Rangers are next under the spotlight. After a successful championship campaign Carrick Rangers secured their position in this season’s NIFL following a play-off victory over Ards. Survival will be the club’s primary target this year.
|Crusaders||Saturday August 10th||Away|
|Larne||Tuesday August 13th||Home|
|Institute||Saturday August 17th||Away|
|Cliftonville||Saturday August 24th||Home|
|Ballymena United||Saturday August 31st||Home|
|Glenavon||Saturday September 7th||Away|
Since a January defeat to Larne, Carrick Rangers secured 11 wins and 1 draw from their remaining 12 games. If the club are to survive beyond this season, Michael Smith will be required to maintain his form in a higher division. Carrick managed an impressive 12 wins in 16 home games last season. If boss Currie can come anywhere near to this record in the coming season, his side may just be able to avoid the drop. The form of Caolan Loughran, the goal-happy defender, will be crucial to Carrick’s fortunes this season.
Carrick have had a busy transfer window. The club have secured eight new players this summer including former Ballymena striker William Faulkner while Kyle Cherry returned to the club following three seasons at Ards. Caolan Loughran, the defender who racked up 10 goals in 33 games, has also joined Carrick on a permanent basis. Loan deals saw the return of Caolin Coyle and Ryan Waide (formerly Ryan Strain) leave Carrick Rangers and return to their parent clubs Dungannon Swifts and Linfield respectively.
Niall Currie has achieved his primary target of putting smiles back on the faces of Carrick Rangers players and fans. The former Ards and Portadown manager has secured promotion for the third time in his career. He will be targeting a consolidation of this position for the first time following turbulent spells in the top flight at his previous clubs.
Carrick face an uphill battle. Goals must be found from throughout the team this season and home form must be consistent. Survival will be the aim of the club this year, but they’re one of the favourites for relegation for a reason.