Our 2019/20 club profile series begins with Warrenpoint Town. Entering their third consecutive season in the Irish Premiership, Warrenpoint’s main target will be to avoid the drop once again.
|Larne||Saturday 10th August||Away|
|Crusaders||Tuesday 13th August||Home|
|Glenavon||Saturday 17th August||Away|
|Linfield||Saturday 24th August||Away|
|Cliftonville||Saturday 31st August||Home|
|Ballymena||Saturday 7th September||Away|
Warrenpoint carved their own section of the league table last season. While falling short of the 40-point mark achieved by three of the other bottom half sides, the Point finished the season comfortably above the bottom two. Despite conceding 79 goals last term, Warrenpoint’s respectable goal tally of 51 was enough to secure their survival. Warrenpoint were impressive in their cup endeavours last season but ultimately met disappointment. April’s Mid-Ulster Cup final with Glenavon ended in a 4-3 defeat, which came after an unfortunate 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat to Ballinamallard in the Irish Cup semi-final.
The most prominent transfer development for the Point this season has been the departure of former captain Stevie Moan. After 7 years at the club, his influence on and off the pitch will be missed throughout the coming campaign. Seanna Foster has also moved on to Cliftonville. Stephen McDonnell has made moves in the transfer window to address Warrenpoint’s defensive frailties: centre-backs Dermot McVeigh, Gavin Smith and Evan White have been drafted in to bolster the Point defence while Eamon Scannell (20) has also returned to Warrenpoint for another season on loan from Linfield. Jake O’Connor (21) has also been signed to improve the Warrenpoint midfield following a spell at Portmarnock FC and Dundalk.
Stephen McDonnell has one of the more unique stories of the Irish League managers. After a spell in the Celtic academy under Tommy Burns, McDonnell had further trials at Bolton and Wolves before becoming established in the Dundalk side. At just 22 however, a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a case where the heart gets progressively bigger), cut short his playing career. Following an interim spell as manager, McDonnell was officially appointed Warrenpoint boss in April 2018 at the age of just 26. While many doubted the young coach, his record throughout last season proved his credentials.
With survival and two sustained cup runs last season, improvement this term may be hard to achieve for Warrenpoint. McDonnell will undoubtedly want to manoeuvre his side further up the table this term. The fixture list has not been kind to Warrenpoint however. After kicking off the season against new-comers Larne, Warrenpoint’s next five games are all against teams that finished last season in the top 6. The possibility of a poor start to the season means a relegation dogfight may be on the cards at Milltown this season.