BREDAGH manager Michael O’Callaghan has said that nothing less than promotion from Division 4 will do this year as his side look to maintain their 100 per cent record tonight (Wednesday) against pointless Ballykinlar.
The Ormeau club have won six games from six so far and sit in second place, two points behind Dundrum who have played a game more but also boast a perfect record so far.
Having missed out on promotion last year in heartbreaking circumstances when losing a play-off to Drumaness by a goal, the Bredagh manager has said he is pleased with the response of his players in the new campaign and hopes they can keep it going.
“We are going well so far. We have won the first six games so I can’t complain about that,” he said.
“It’s nice the way the boys have continued to show the form they did last season and have responded well to the disappointment of losing the play-off so they responded well.
“They have taken everything in their stride, knuckled down and that has certainly shown so far.
“The main objective this season is to get up into Division 3.
“The way it is structured this year allows us to keep our focus on promotion and then get ourselves ready for the Championship later in the summer.”
This year Bredagh will test themselves in the Intermediate grade having claimed the Junior title last season.
On a memorable day, O’Callaghan’s charges brushed aside the Dromara challenge (4-10 to 0-9) to bring some silverware to the club in what was its 40th year.
This year the West Belfast school teacher knows his players will face stiffer challenges but one point of intrigue is that the draw has paired Bredagh with local rivals Carryduff.
This game has been originally pencilled in for June but with the Ulster Championship in full swing by this stage, it is more likely it will be mid-August before it takes place and for now, O’Callaghan is more concerned with the league and maintaining momentum.
“The draw for the Championship certainly adds a bit of local rivalry,” added the Bredagh manager.
“I think for both clubs this really adds a bit of spice to the Championship.
“We have to remember they are two divisions above us in the league but we will worry about that in the summertime.”
With that mouth watering clash still some time away, it is league points that will take priority for now.
While the Cherryvale based club will be expected to make it seven wins in a row tonight against a Ballykinlar side who have lost all five of their opening games, they know from last year’s disappointment that every point counts and that nothing can be taken for granted.
With some key games coming up against St Paul’s, Holywood, and then promotion rivals Mitchel’s and Dundrum, the Bredagh manager is well aware there are major battles to come and said it is imperative his players retain the focus that has seen them make such a bright start to the season.
“Although we aren’t taking anyone lightly in the league, we would be expecting two points on Wednesday night against Ballykinlar,” admitted O’Callaghan.
“After that we have three tough games. We will be away to St Paul’s Holywood, which is a bit of a local derby and they will know us well enough.
“After that we have Mitchel’s who are just behind us in the table and have only been beaten once this year and that was by a point to Dundrum.
‘The week after that we have Dundrum, who are top at the minute, so that will be three big games on the spin that could go a long way to decide how our season will go.
“We know from last year that in this league we have to win all of our games and hopefully we can win another at home against Ballykinlar.
“The players have to keep their feet on the ground for now but we have a good young panel and a few experienced heads there to keep them grounded.”