The holiday period is a busy time on the pitch and Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes is expecting it to be busy off it as well as he looks to bring in reinforcements to bolster his side’s survival bid.
Dykes already has agreements in place to bring two players to Ferney Park while he is working hard on a number of other deals as he looks to pull his side off the bottom of the table.
And the Mallards boss stresses that he is targeting players who can come in and made an immediate impact in the team.
“I’ve agreed with two to come in and I’m working on a number of others, I’ve been busy this last few weeks,” he said.  “It is important to get bodies in and bodies that will come in and make a difference. We are looking at players who can go straight into the team.”
One player who has agreed to join Ballinamallard is centre half Ryan O’Reilly, a former Republic of Ireland youth international. Cavan man O’Reilly had been with Stoke City and had a loan spell at Wrexham and he is a player that Dykes has been after for a some time.
“I’ve been chasing him for a while, we tried in the summer and I’ve stayed in touch with him. He is a smashing lad, a big centre half and he will bring a lot to the party,” said Dykes.
After last week’s game against Glentoran fell foul of the weather, it is back to action this Saturday with the Ducks welcoming league leaders Coleraine to Ferney Park.
Dykes acknowledges that his side face a difficult assignment but it is one that he feels they are capable of getting something out of.
“Not that long ago we went to Coleraine on a Tuesday night and we should have got something out of it. We made it very difficult for them that night but then we gave away two poor goals. I think though this is a good game for us and any time you have the league leaders coming you shouldn’t have too much of a team talk to give.
“They are obviously going really well and Oran has done a fantastic job so it won’t be easy but hopefully we can get something out of this at home,” he added.
The Mallards will be without the suspended Ryan McConnell and Blaine Burns for the game while Shane McGinty is a doubt but Dykes is expecting others to come back into contention.
“We will hopefully have a couple of bodies back. Clarke will come back in, we’ll hopefully have McKenna back, Colm McLaughlin will hopefully be back and Ryan Curran is closer to where we want him to be with another week under his belt and he’ll come into the reckoning,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Mallards have been drawn out at home against Amateur League side Immaculata in the fifth round of the Irish Cup with the game to be played on Saturday January 6. And Dykes would like to have a run in the competition.
“I think the big thing is that it is a home draw so we are pleased with that. Immaculata have been going well in their own league so we will treat them with respect but hopefully we can progress and it would be good to have a run in the Irish Cup,” he added.