As we continue our run-up to the 2019/20 Irish League season, our next club profile is Kris Lindsay’s Dungannon Swifts. Steady home performances last season give the Swifts cause for optimism, but the transfer of key players and a dismal away record indicate more of the same at Stangmore Park.
|Ballymena United||Saturday 10th August||Home|
|Institute||Tuesday 13th August||Away|
|Glentoran||Saturday 17th August||Home|
|Glenavon||Saturday 24th August||Home|
|Crusaders||Saturday 31st August||Away|
|Coleraine||Saturday 7th August||Away|
Having lost manager Rodney McAree to Coleraine in September 2018, Kris Lindsay was drafted from his position as Glenavon first team coach to assume the role of manager. While form away from home proved an issue for the Swifts last season, the club boasted a “top 6′ home record. Elsewhere, Dungannon enjoyed sustained runs in both the League and Irish Cups. Away form and defensive frailties will be a concern for Lindsay, but the boss certainly has ground to build upon.
Dungannon have enjoyed a busy summer transfer window. The departure of captain Chris Hegarty is a particularly worrying development as a watery defence is further weakened. Lindsay has invested in youth thus far. Highly-rated goalkeeper Sam Johnston, and centre-back Dylan King have been recruited having secured eight clean-sheets for strugglers Ards last season. Dylan King has also been drafted from Coleraine to bolster the Dungannon defence. Michael Carvill (who was on-loan at Stangmore Park at the tail-end of last season) will look to add a clinical edge to Dungannon’s attack this season.
Since wrapping-up a decorated playing career in which he secured two League Championships, Kris Lindsay accepted the role of first team coach at Glenavon under Gary Hamilton in 2017. Still only 35, Lindsay’s partnership was focused upon developing young talent at Mourneview Park. Lindsay has continued in the same vein since his move to Dungannon. His focus on youth will be intriguing to observe throughout the season as he goes about developing a new, young defence at Stangmore Park.
Last season held many positives for Lindsay. In the coming season Lindsay will be focused upon developing his squad and improving defensive and away performances. The top-half may prove a step too far for Dungannon this time around, but a seventh place finish and securing a position in the European playoffs will be the goal for Lindsay this term.
Check out all of our Irish League odds here, and join us again tomorrow for the next in our club profile series: Glenavon. Catch-up with our previous club profiles here: Warrenpoint Town, Institute, Carrick Rangers.