Ballinamallard manager Harry McConkey has moved to strengthen his hand ahead of the new season with the addition of a trio of players this week.

Left sided centre half and former Institute captain Dean Curry, right back Ryan Morrow and midfielder Niall Grace, who has previously played for Institute, Cliftonville and Glenavon have all agreed to join the Ferney Park club.

With defender Matthew Buchanan having also completed his move from Dergivew it brings to four the number of new arrivals for the Ducks this summer.

“I’m delighted to announce that we have made three great additions to our squad for the season ahead,” said McConkey.

“Dean Curry is an experienced left side central defender who captained Institute FC in the Premiership last season.

“Ryan Morrow is an all action right back who again played in the Premiership last season with Institute and was presently training with his old club Trojans FC. Ryan guested for us on Saturday and showed his excellent defensive qualities.

“I am also delighted to get Niall Grace over the line and the Bonagee FC midfielder has agreed to join us after he plays his last few cup games with them.

“Niall has played for Institute, Cliftonville and Glenavon and will add another great option in our midfield area.He is a strong player who can score goals and works aggressively in both boxes.

“I’m just so pleased that players of the pedigree of Matt Buchanan Dean, Ryan and Niall all want to join us in our challenge for the season ahead.They will add a competitive edge to everyone on the training pitch and on a Saturday afternoon.

“We must keep growing as a squad as we all know how competitive the NIFL Championship will be when we do return,” said McConkey

Ballinamallard continued their preparations last Saturday with an 8-1 win over Strabane Athletic at Ferney Park.

Darragh McBrien nabbed a hat-trick, Duwayne McManus scored twice while Niall Grace, Ryan Campbell and Lorcan McGrady also chipped in with goals.

Mallards boss McConkey stressed that results are not important at this stage of the season but he admits that scoring is a good habit to get into.

“You never get carried away about scorelines in pre-season, it is not important, but it is good to get among the goals because ultimately that is what the game is all about, that’s the objective you set out every time you play,” he said.

“It was another good workout for us and we had a number of good performances.

“It was good to also have a number of players get 90 minutes under their belts on Saturday as we look to build up fitness,” he said.

The level of opponent is set to ramp up in the coming weeks with Warrenpoint next up for McConkey’s charges as they work towards that provisional start date for the league of October 17. That will be followed by games against games against Cliftonville, Dungannon Swifts, Crusaders and Coleraine while there is also a North West Cup game on Tuesday September 29 against the winner of the Limavady v Newbuildings tie.

“We now feel we have to ramp things up in terms of opposition. The intensity of the game will move up and your mistakes will be punished a bit more harshly but that’s all part of our learning and that’s where we want to be at the minute. We want to test the players more.

The other thing is to try and get through all these games without picking up injuries,” added McConkey.