Patrick McClean, the brother of James McClean is settling in well at the RSC since he moved here from Derry City.
At the minute, I'm settling in well. Training has been very good and I'm happy to be here. When I heard about it all, I was a bit wary to be honest but when I came down here and saw the standard of the player that we've signed, I'm really delighted to be here.
“I'm looking forward to see how we get on. There is a lot of expectations that we are going to be promoted but we have to manage that. It's obvious we’ll be pushing for it but we know that we have a battle on our hands so we'll see how it goes.
McClean was also surprised to be captain in a number of pre-season friendlies. “I've settled in very quickly and the lads had me captain the first few games which took me by surprise. I really didn't know what was going on but you know everyone has been so nice to me and I'm excited for the next nine months or so.
“The first couple of games you would be hoping for a win and hopefully we can go and do that. We won't be taking anything for granted against Athlone Town. It will be a tough place to go but if we can go away and win it would set us up nicely for the home game against Cabinteely.
“It would be nice to bring home three points against Athlone and get the crowd behind us so we're just hoping that we can go into the first game of the season and do well. That's the big thing that we put in a performance that sets down a marker for the season ahead.”
Gary Delaney back with the Blues
Gary Delaney is back at the RSC for a second spell after he returned to Wexford a few seasons ago. The central defender has been impressive during the pre-season games and he just can't wait to face Athlone Town this Friday.
“I have to say that training has been very tough but I’ve settled in very good,” said Gary Delaney. “I think that everyone is settling in well and gelling well together. We are all just looking forward to the first game of the season next week against Athlone.
“Training has been intense and there is a lot of effort being put in by everyone. There is a huge competition for places in the squad which is good and that takes training to the next level so it’s all good.
“There is a lot of expectations about getting out of the division at the first attempt this season but we’ll be just taking one game at a time. That’s all we can do. It would be great to start with a win because if you keep winning it gives it all a boost.
“I don’t think that we should get too ahead of ourselves before the season starts. We must plug away between now and then so hopefully we’ll get the right result against Athlone on Friday night. It would be good to win the first game because it would set us up nicely for the home game against Cabinteely.
“Going up to Athlone is a tough place to go so we know that it’s not going to be easy for us. We need to get the ball rolling for us as soon as we can so hopefully we’ll be able to get a win. I have to say that it’s a very strong squad and I don’t think that I have ever been in a stronger squad if I’m honest.
“The calibre of player that we have is excellent so we’re hoping that we can do well not just for ourselves but also for the fans. They are vital to the club going forward and I know from talking to some of them that they are just as excited as we are to get started.
“There are two or three players that can play in every position which is healthy for competition for places so we’re all hoping that we are in the starting eleven for the first game. The management have confidence in every player as well which is good. I just can’t wait to get going. It’s been a while so hopefully it will go well for us.”