Bray Wanderers hold onto five players for upcoming season
Gary McCabe, Hugh Douglas, John Sullivan, Conor Kenna and Ger Pender have all re-signed
Gary McCabe has rejoined Bray Wanderers ahead of the upcoming season. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Bray Wanderers have completed the signing of five key members of last season’s squad and added some well known new faces as new manager Dave Mackey prepares to get preseason training under way over the weekend.
Gary McCabe, Hugh Douglas, John Sullivan, Conor Kenna and Ger Pender have all returned to the Carlisle Grounds for the 2018 season while the club has also signed former UCD, Limerick and St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder Paul O’Conor along with Sean Heaney, Dylan Hayes and Jake Kelly who spent last season with Waterford, Bohemians and Longford Town respectively.
Mackey is hopeful that Peter Cherrie will re-sign in time for Saturday’s first training session and intends to talk with Mark Salmon when he returns from abroad. He currently has 14 players, though, including newly arrived young centre-half Darragh Gibbons who he previously worked with at Shamrock Rovers and a group of four players still under contract from last year headed up by experienced midfielder Aaron Greene.
“The budget for this year is not what the budget was for last year and it will be a tighter squad,” says Mackey, “but Gerry Mulvey, the main investor/owner, has been extremely supportive and I’m delighted to have got so many of the squad that did so well last year back along with what I think are some very good new players.
“We probably need three or four more players and the challenge is to get the right ones in to help get us where we want to be but I’m very happy with what we have managed to do over the last few days; the players from last year have a good bond, a good spirit and having done well last year I think they want to see if they can build on that.
“The initial aim is still to retain our Premier Division status next season but having retained the bulk of last year’s squad I think we be hoping to see what we can achieve after that.”
Cork City, meanwhile, are reported to be on the verge of completing the signing of Under-21 international defender Danny Kane from Huddersfield Town. The former Cherry Orchard player moved to England in 2013.