Harry McConkey has declared himself ‘delighted’ with his squad and admitted that he is unlikely to return to the transfer market before the start of the new season, after securing the service of Ryan Mayse and Darragh McBrien.

Mayse will re-join the club on a permanent basis after having spent the closing months of last season at loan at Ferney Park, while Darragh McBrien has spurned the advances of Cliftonville to remain at the Mallards, with the manager hoping he will get more time on the pitch this season after a truncated campaign last time around.

“You never say never in football, but at this point in time we are not actively looking for anybody else,” revealed Harry.

“We are very happy with the business we have done. We have strengthened the defence, we have strengthened the midfield area, and we have given ourselves more options up front and we are happy with that.

“What we have created with our new additions – Matt Buchanan, Ryan Morrow, Dean Curry, Niall Grace as well as Maysie and Darragh – is healthy competition for places.

“In my experience, this also raises standards on the training pitch and that, in turn, benefits the team on a match day.”

McConkey had targeted the attacking areas of the pitch in recent weeks, and he feels that the two players who put pen to paper this week will give them an added threat up front.

“We know that the two of them are live wires and will be a handful for anybody. We were very glad to get that sorted,” he acknowledged.

“Darragh has come back and has had a very good pre-season so far, and we know he is excited about the new season.

“He gives us that little bit of an extra edge because of his wonderful power, his agility and speed, and the quality in his finish.

“Those are qualities that will always catch the eye.”

He continued: “Maysie was doing very well in pre-season and was keeping his options open. He was under a lot of pressure from Premier League clubs, especially Carrick Rangers, who were very keen, so we are delighted to have him back on a permanent basis.

“I think he wants to prove a point. He was looking to make a real impression before the end of the last season but, unfortunately, that was taken away from him.

“Up top, we have the likes of Ryan Campbell, Jay McCartney, Josh McIlwaine and the two lads. We have a lot of firepower up there now.”

Although the new signings have grabbed the headlines, the manager feels that keeping the core of the squad from the last season has been a massive positive.

Having held talks with the players in recent weeks, he has been delighted with the response of those who have chosen to stick by the squad and commit fully to the new season, with only a couple of contracts still to be finalised.

“I have held some very positive talks and am very pleased that we have the squad practically put to bed now,” he said.

“There has been a lot of talk about the new signings, but the biggest part of my job in the past week has been being able to hold on to the players who we have been building around over the past two years, and that must not be overlooked.

“[These include] the likes of John Connolly, Richard Clarke, Ryan Campbell, Matty Smyth, Ben McCann, John Edgar, Chris Kelly and Dwayne McManus.

“They have been the spine of the team, and all those lads have put in a great shift for us.

“They were hard done by, not getting a chance at a play-off last season, but from talking to the players, they all have a hunger and a desire to put things right because they thought it was a little bit unjust.

“It’s lovely to get fresh faces in and I’m happy with the quality of players we have recruited and signed up, but I’m equally as delighted that we have people who want to stay on the journey with us.”

Ballinamallard’s next game of a prolonged pre-season comes at Ferney Park on Saturday when they take on local rivals, Dungannon Swifts.

Ross Taheny, out since September through injury, is expected to make his return in a game that McConkey anticipates will be another tough test.

“We have looked forward to all the Premiership games and there is no doubt they have been a step up for us, but the boys have responded, and they have shown their preparations have been standing by them.

“There is no question that Kris Lindsay will be looking for better things from them this year, and Dungannon will be another great challenge.”