Clancy hoping for Meaney hot streak as Drogs get back down to business
Soccer: SSE Airtricity League
Drogheda United manager Tim Clancy is hoping Stephen Meaney can make up for lost time in 2019 after missing a large chunk of last season through injury.
The 20-year-old striker, who made just three starts in the early part of the campaign, scoring once, has re-signed for the Boynesiders for a third year and Clancy feels he can offer something different in attack to chief marksman Chris Lyons.
Speaking on Monday morning, Clancy said: 'Stephen was unfortunate that he had an accident at work last year and had to miss three or four months of the season, but he was right in the mix, he's technically very good and is a very good finisher.
'We're trying to make him a bit more aggressive and use his body a bit more and we're looking for him to step up this year. 'We have 18 players signed on first-team contracts now and we'll have a couple more in the next couple of weeks.'
Pre-season got under way on Saturday morning with a gym session at Integral in Drogheda and the manager said he was happy with the workout.
'We did a few tests and had a chat about things and it was good to be back,' said Clancy. 'They're in good shape. They are all quite young anyway and very fit and I'm looking forward to getting pre-season under way.
'There were a couple of absentees, but everyone was there who was expected to be there and we'll be in Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday until the season starts, based out of Ashbourne.
'Going forward, though, it's important that the first team - and all the teams - are based in Drogheda because that's where the club is.'
Meanwhile, Lee Duffy won't be lining out for the Drogs in 2019 after he opted to sign for Irish League club Warrenpoint Town.
The 27-year-old winger, who bagged seven goals in 19 starting appearances during a previous spell at United Park in 2015. scored three times from 13 starts last season but faded out of the first-team picture in the second half of the campaign.
In terms of friendlies, Drogheda are awaiting for the date of the annual Jim Malone Cup game against Dundalk to be finalised - it will be in Oriel Park.
The club's other pre-season games will then be confirmed, but at the moment the dates pencilled in are Tuesday February 5th for a behind-closed-doors game against Republic of Ireland Under-19s in Abbotstown, and the following Friday or Saturday for St Patrick's Athletic in Richmond Park. Drogheda will also Bohemians, probably in Abbotstown, and Finn Harps at United Park.
The Boynesiders will have to wait a number of weeks to find out their opponents in the Leinster Senior Cup after the draw for the last 16 of the competition took place last week.
Clancy's side will be away to either Ashford Rovers (Wicklow), Hanover Harps (Carlow), Sheriff YC or Firhouse Clover.