Promotion winners key to Town’s hopes in coming season

Stephen Acheson will add one key attribute to the Town squad. INPT45-616  PTFOOTBALLAUFC13
Stephen Acheson will add one key attribute to the Town squad. INPT45-616 PTFOOTBALLAUFC13
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Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson says there is one key characteristic that his two new recruits have in common.

And it’s certainly not by coincidence that the duo have both ended up at the club.

Watson has been very specific in his search for proven winners to add to his squad.

More specificially, both Niall Lavery and Stephen Acheson both know exactly how to gain promotion from Championship Two.

Albeit restyled as the Premier Intermediate League, it is that third tier that Banbridge Town dream of making it beyond.

Ex Lurgan Celtic midfielder Lavery was last week joined by former Portadown and Annagh United defender Acheson, much to the delight of the boss.

“Stephen is a good centre-half,” said Watson. “He has a good physical presence and is another guy who has experience of winning promotion from this division in recent seasons.

“He knows what it takes to be a winner and to get out of this league. That’s absolutely key if we’re to get further up the table.

“Hopefully Stephen will help us to do that and will show his quality. He certainly has that so hopefully he can help to keep us tight at the back, as were for much of last season. He can play midfield if needed but he is coming in to replace Glen Waddell.”

Acheson was promoted from Championship Two with Annagh United in 2015, the same year that Lavery won the division with Lurgan Celtic, experience that Watson says is ideal in any new recruit.

“It’s certainly something that we look to bring into the club, the experience of having been there and done it. Guys who have that are like gold dust,” he said.

“I’ve tried to get Stephen to the club before so when I heard he was available, I had no hesitation in contacting him. Similarly, he had no hesitation in saying yes. I think he regrets not joining us before.”

Meanwhile, Watson is hoping to further add to his squad, particular at the other end of the pitch after strikers Gary Boyle and Jamie Smith left the club at the end of the season.

“I’m still actively looking to strengthen our options up front,” he said.

“The quality that we need is very hard to come by and difficult to attract. We want somebody who is proven at this level and will guarantee us goals.”