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Alan relishing Shels task

ALAN MATHEWS believes that his Shelbourne side can compete in the Premier Division this season despite working off a reduced budget

Shels finished eighth in the top flight last season but a number of players from that squad have departed, such as Stephen Dawson, Conan Byrne and Stephen Paisley as Mathews tries to make the Reds competitive.

"It's been fairly well documented that we've had to realign the budget. We've brought in some good players but we're going to rely on a number of younger players to give us the depth," says the Shels boss.

"It's going to be a challenge for us, but I do believe if we keep everyone fit and on the pitch, avoiding suspensions as best we can, we'll give a good account on ourselves. It was our first year back in the top division last year.

"We started off really well but didn't finish off well, albeit we got to the semi-final of the Cup and took it to the last day of the season to get a spot in the Setanta Cup. It was consolidation. We'll look to push on this year. I think it will be a competitive league."