Tomorrow we welcome Rosemount Rec to Mourneview Park for a 5th Round tie in the Tennent’s Irish Cup. The Greyabbey club is making history tomorrow as the first team from the Division 1C of the Northern Amateur League to reach this stage of the competition. On the way to the 5th Round they’ve had impressive victories over Premier Intermediate League side Annagh United and Islandmagee who play in the Amateur League Premier Division.

Gary Hamilton’s squad will be further ravaged by injuries tomorrow as Andrew Mitchell (thigh), Andy Hall (ankle) and Aaron Harmon (hamstring) join Sammy Clingan on the injury list. Gary hopes that Conor McCloskey will be fit enough for a place on the bench and the recalled loan duo of Robbie Norton and Jack O’Mahony could be in line for a return in the Royal Blue shirt. “It’s good to get Robbie and Jack back and I’m glad that I made the decision to let them go out on loan because it’s benefited them with game time that they probably wouldn’t have got as much of with us. It’s given them experience and the physical challenges of playing against men and they both have done very well.

Pictured: Robert Norton in action for Warrenpoint against Cliftonville. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Philip Magowan

“Norman Kelly has told me that Jack was excellent at the Welders and from speaking to Stephen down at Warrenpoint he said Robbie’s been excellent for them as well and played in a number of positions. He’s played right back, right wing and centre midfield so that will have helped him too, getting experience playing in different positions and in the Premiership.

“We’re delighted the two of them are back as it’ll help us after losing Mark Sykes and Ben Doherty. We’re still on the lookout for more players to see if we can bring some in. Whether that’s going to be possible or not remains to be seen. I’ve been looking for the last two months as I felt Mark was going to probably move in January so we had to prepare for him going and Ben had been doing so well that the potential was there for him to return to Derry again.

“I’ve been trying my best to identify players but with so many teams in around each other in the league teams don’t want players going to other clubs around them and maybe doing well. It’s a difficult window in the Irish League this year. We’ve looked down South but all the quality players have been signed up straight away. We’ve looked across the water to see if there’s any potential of getting a loan signing in from Scotland or England but we’ll keep working hard to see if we can make something happen before the window closes on 31st January.”

Looking ahead to the match Gary said “We’ve had them watched and they’re a decent team at that level of football. I’ve always said, no matter what level you play at, if you’re not switched on anything can shock you. We’re obviously down players tomorrow which I’m sure they’ll be happy with as well but there’s no excuses why the boys that play tomorrow can’t go out, put in a professional performance and get through to the next round. It’s the minimum that we expect of them tomorrow. We want them to show Rosemount the respect that the deserve; we don’t want our lads turning up and thinking ‘it’s a team from the lower leagues and it’s just a matter of turning up’ because, even in Premiership games, when you do that, sometimes it comes back to haunt you.”

Admission prices tomorrow are £11 Adult and £7 Concession and Season Tickets are not valid.

Glenavon’s Rhys Marshall and Rosemount’s Ryan Stewart and Scott Ritchie at the 5th Round Draw of the Tennent’s Irish Cup. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

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