Excitement builds as new Four Lanterns USL season is launched   16/08/2017

The new Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League season was officially launched this evening at a media reception in the Four Lanterns, Letterkenny.

Representatives from the Ulster Senior League’s seven clubs were in attendance with League officials and local media.

The new season kicks off in two weeks’ time, September 3rd, with the first round of games in the Donegal News Ulster Senior League Cup.

Picture are players, Darragh Black (Fanad United), Jimmy Bradley (Cockhill Celtic), Luke Nelis (Finn Harps Reserves), Darren McElwaine (Letterkenny Rovers), Adrian Delap (Derry City Reserves), Jamie Lynagh (Bonagee United) and Ryan McDaid (Swilly Rovers). Picture by Joe Boland North West News Pix

The 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League begins on the weekend ending October 1st, after the completion of the group phase of the League Cup and the first round of the FAI Intermediate Cup.

“We’re excited about the new season,” said Ulster Senior League Secretary, Niall Callaghan.

“It’ll be very competitive. Every club has strengthened and we’re looking forward to it. We like to see it progressing and like to see it moving on.”

The Ulster Senior League’s numbers have fallen in recent years, but the Secretary insists that the League executive and clubs are committed to safeguarding the future of the USL.

He said: “The clubs that we have are totally behind it and we try to be as professional as we can.

“Connacht lost the Intermediate League and they’re finding it very hard to get it back. We don’t want that to happen and the clubs we have don’t want that to happen.”

The Four Lanterns chain of restaurants continue their long-standing sponsorship of the Ulster Senior League. The Four Lanterns have been the League’s main sponsors since it came into being in 1986.

“We at the Four Lanterns feel both immensely proud and privileged to be linked yet again with another forthcoming season of exciting football in the Ulster Senior League,” said Oran Grimes of the Four Lanterns.

“We are delighted to continue our association with the Ulster Senior League and we wish all the clubs, players, officials and fans a great season ahead.”

Cockhill Celtic won their fifth successive League and League Cup double last season and the Inishowen side will begin as favourites for honours in 2017/18.

Picture are management representatives from the USL clubs. Picture by Joe Boland, North West News Pix

“It’s a clean slate, the new season starting. Everyone is aiming high at this stage,” said Cockhill Celtic player-manager Gavin Cullen.

“Motivation is never a problem. They want to be there and they want to be successful. Complacency could be an issue, but so far it hasn’t - and I don’t think it will be this season either.”