After his squad was decimated, Ballymoney United Manager Chris Peacock has worked endlessly to sign players before the transfer window closed on Monday night.
With three signings in the bag at time of going to press and a potential four more poised to sign on the dotted line, Peacock is more upbeat although still realistic about the hard work that remains ahead this season.
“I was very pleased to sign Conor McKinley, Nigel Elliott and ex-Coleraine striker Shane Jennings. We’ve known all along that we would have to do a total re-build and where other managers are strengthening their squad at this stage, I’m trying to put a squad together which isn’t an easy job.
“I’ve been flat out talking to players and I’ve taken time off work so I can throw myself into it 100% and try and get a few more over the line. The squad and the starting eleven needed strengthening so we were hunting for every type of player we could get our hands on.”
In the midst of putting a squad together, Peacock was also faced with two games in six days.
First up was Ballinamallard in the Wasp Solutions League Cup.
“That was a tough ask but we gave a great account of ourselves against Ballinamallard. It was seven or eight minutes into the first half when they were given a penalty for a dubious handball. The lads played very, very well in the first half and then in the second half we were totally run out. The quality and fitness of the premiership side shone through combined with the strength and depth they had took its toll on us.
“We then played Glentoran II on Saturday in the Steele and Sons Cup and again their strength and depth was far, far more than ours. We were starting with a team of 17-year olds plus four reserve team players who were the pick of the bunch from last season and we had only two recognised first team players in our starting squad.
“We had the two players who were on holidays and they were home on Friday and straight into the starting eleven. In an ideal world they wouldnt have started the game or they would have played and played an hour but at the moment we have to work with what we have and make the best of it.”
With new players added to the squad Chris Peacock gets his league campaign off the ground again on Saturday when Moyola visit the Toon.
“Moyola have started very well, I’ve watched them twice this year. They’ve got a few very handy players. Chris Dowie is top class at that level for scoring goals and Eugene Gallagher is a very offensive central midfielder so there’s no doubt they’ve assemebled a decent side.
“Realistically my season won’t really start for another month. Getting these seven or eight players is the start of it.
“It will take time for us to get things in order and to know where we are going. Yes I would like to have done my business early and be able to concentrate on playing, however, that isn’t the reality of the situation and we have to push on and make the best of it.
“Players and supporters need to be patient, everyone in the club from the top to the bottom know the situation we started with and that this is a total re-build but they can rest assured that I will give 110% to doing the very best job possible.”