NCAFC First Team News

Newry City AFC are delighted to announce six of the current first-team squad have agreed new deals to remain at The Showgrounds.


Club captain Darren King, who has made almost 450 appearances in the blue and white stripes, will be back for another season. He’ll be joined by fellow defenders, former Northern Ireland international Ryan McGivern and Stephen Moan.

Ciaran O’Connor has also signed a new deal after signing permanently at the beginning of last season, while midfielders Georgie Poynton and Jordan Mooney are also back after their debut seasons with the club.


First team Manager Barry Gray says he’s delighted the six players have committed to the club for the 2024-25 season

Going forward into the new season it’s so important we have a squad that’s strong and familiar. The lads that have re-signed are key players moving forward and certainly boast huge experience which will be vital.

I’m pleased the lads have committed and speaking with each of them, I know they are extremely hungry and motivated to push standards and drive the team towards success again.


Fan favourite and club legend King, 38, made his debut in 2005 and has played for the club 435 times across two spells.

“I’m delighted to sign another season with my club. I felt every bit of agony that our supporters felt last season as I’m a Newry supporter first and a player second,” said ‘Engine’

After the disappointment of the past season and having some time off to rest and recuperate, the focus now has to be on working hard and getting back to enjoying football for players and supporters alike.  

“The last season we played in the Championship was one of the club’s best and most enjoyable in recent history, so let’s see if we can replicate that.”


34-year-old McGivern, who appeared for Manchester City in the Premier League and played for Hibs in the 2013 Scottish Cup Final defeat to Celtic, made 24 appearances for Northern Ireland up until 2016 and joined Newry from Linfield in 2021.

“Newry is my hometown club which I love,” said the 34-year-old, who has made 90 appearances for City.

“Growing up as a kid going to watch the games at The Showgrounds, Newry were always a Premiership side and when I signed, the aim was to try and get the club back to the Premiership and stay there where it belongs. That’s the sole aim and focus for the season ahead.

“In my opinion, our fans are easily the best in the country. They stick with us through thick and thin and our aim this season is to give them a team to be proud of and hopefully something to celebrate come the end of the season.”


Attacking midfielder O’Connor will also be at The Showgrounds next season. He initially joined on loan for the first part of the 2022-23 campaign from Glentoran, before joining on a permanent deal at the start of last season.

“I’m delighted to extend my stay at Newry. The fans, staff and volunteers have made me feel so welcome since the day I walked in the door,” says the 27-year-old Dundalk native.

“Obviously we had a poor season last year, but we’re looking forward to a new challenge and a big push to get this club back to the Premiership where we belong.”


Experienced defender Stephen Moan will be aiming to add to 112 appearances in the forthcoming season after being forced to miss large spells of the last campaign through injury.

“It’s great to be extending my stay at Newry for another season and hopefully we can get the club back where it belongs,” says the 33-year-old local.

“It was a tough season last year, both club wise and personally for myself with injuries, so hopefully we can enjoy a successful season this year.”


Two players from south of the border, Georgie Poynton and Jordan Mooney, are also back for another year at least following their debut seasons with Newry.

Former Dundalk, Shelbourne and Drogheda player Poynton, 26, who can operate in either defence or midfield, made 39 appearances last term.

“I’m really happy to stay at Newry, it’s a good club with good people and fan base who supported us through tough times last season,” he says.

This season it’s about giving the people something to cheer about and getting the club back to where it belongs.

“I’m really looking forward to a good preseason and hitting the ground running come August.”


21-year-old Mooney, found the net twice in 24 games last season and is looking forward to returning.  

“I’m delighted to be given another year at this great club,” he beamed.  

“Last season was extremely disappointing for everyone involved with the club and us players are the only ones that can put it right.

“That’s what we plan to do this coming season.”