Category: Reserves

NCAFC Manager Barry Gray with new First Team Coach Mark Griffin

Gray welcomes new First Team Coach

Newry City AFC are pleased to announce that Mark Griffin has joined the club as First Team Coach.


The 33-year-old arrives from his hometown club Dundalk, where he was most recently the League of Ireland side’s Under-20s Manager.


As a player, Mark enjoyed spells in the League of Ireland with Dundalk, Derry City, Bohemians and Drogheda United, before playing in the Irish League with both Glenavon and Warrenpoint Town.


First Team Manager Barry Gray said: “’I’m very excited to have Mark on board as First Team Coach.

“He’s a young dynamic coach with great passion and energy and a history of working with young players, which is vital to us this year in particular. Mark was an excellent player and knows the Irish league and I’ve no doubt he’ll be a great asset to us in our bid for promotion.”


Mark Griffin said: “I like Barry’s model of thinking. He’s extremely organised and extremely intelligent in how he sets his teams up, so I’m just looking to add to that to get us back up to the Premiership, which is where Newry deserves to be. 

 “The first week has been great and the boys have been really receptive on the pitch so we’re really looking forward to getting our first pre-season game under our belt next Tuesday night.”


Dermot McVeigh has moved on and the club would like to thank him for his contribution during his time at The Showgrounds and wish him well in his future endeavours. 

The King is to remain on the Throne

Manager Darren Mullen has secured the services of Club Captain Darren King for another year “There is no better player or role model within the squad to lead us back to The Premiership and I’m delighted he has committed again. His drive and will to win along with his fitness levels are a credit to him. I’ve no doubt he will be a huge asset to the younger lads next season.”
King commented “With still being on a high from this season past, I’m delighted to get pen to paper and start concentrating and working hard for next year. I’ve no doubt an exciting season awaits both players and supporters of NCAFC collectively, and there’s no other group I would want to embrace it with.”

NCAFC Reserves Trial Date

Following our recent successful trials for our U16 & U18 teams, we are now holding an open trial for our Reserve team on Tuesday 28th May. Registration at 7pm.

This will be open to ages 18-21. If you are interested please email with the following information:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Contact Number
  • Previous Club(s)
  • Position

Newry City Reserves 5 – 8 Dungannon Swifts Reserves

Newry City Reserves welcomed Dungannon Swifts second string to the Showgrounds on Wednesday night. Having picked up a valuable away point on the road the previous week at Ballymena, Newry hoped to secure further points ahead of a really tough run of fixtures over the festive period.

The game got off to an unbelievable start with three goals in the first four minutes to put Newry 2- 1 ahead. A brace from Keith Johnston either side of a Marcio Soares strike for the visitors saw Newry race into an early lead. However they were quickly pegged back when Daniel Hughes equalised from a free-kick on the edge of the area in the tenth minute. It went downhill spectacularly after that with a further two goals from Hughes and a tap in from Caolian Coyle saw the visitors go into the break with a 5 – 2 advantage.

Half time: Newry City Reserves 2 – 5 Dungannon Swifts Reserves

Newry started the second half brightly in an attempt to salvage some pride after the late collapse in the first. TJ Hughes made it 5-3 when he rifled home from the edge of the area after a clever knock back from Keith Johnston in the 50th minute. Two minutes later it was 5-4 when Johnston saw his effort go in off the post to complete his hat-trick.

On the hour mark though, the visitors extended their lead when Daniel Hughes’ shot was well stopped by Lewis Hunter but the rebound hit the unfortunate Zach Annett who turned it into his own net. Straight from the kick off it was Newry who hit the net again when Josh Durnin raced through and tapped home after an excellent through ball from Matty Taylor. The game continued end to end for the next half hour and as Newry committed more bodies forward in an attempt to get an equaliser, they were picked off twice at the end to seal the win for the visitors

Full time: Newry City Reserves 5 – 8 Dungannon Swifts Reserves

Speaking to after the match, Newry Reserves boss Ronan Casey was less than enamoured with his side’s display.

“Anybody looking at the result may think this game was a thriller but it was far from it. It was the worst team performance these lads have served up in my time here. There was a complete lack of fight, belief, energy and an unwillingness to do the dirty work that this fixture required,” blasted Casey. “Fair play to Dungannon who rolled their sleeves up on a cold and wet winter’s night and our boys should pay heed to that. If we aren’t prepared to work hard first and foremost, we will be in serious trouble for the rest of the season. We have a few new faces coming in January when the window opens and that can’t come quick enough on tonight’s showing.”

Next up for Casey’s men is successive away trips to Linfield and Glentoran in the next 10 days.

Newry City Reserves: Lewis Hunter, Leigh Crooks, Zach Annett, Jordan Mackey, Dean Morgan, Conal Delaney, Josh Durnin, Keith Johnston, Sokemeibi John, TJ Hughes, Ryan Duffy

Subs: Keelan Morgan, Matthew Taylor, Tiarnan Murphy, Niall McGivern, Adam Taylor

Ards II  2 – 1  Newry Reserves

Newry Reserves made the long midweek trip to Newtownards to face Ards II at Londonderry Park.

After a goalless opening 45 minutes which saw chances missed at both ends, Newry failed to take advantage of their dominance of possession in the second half and found themselves two goals in arrears after 83 minutes.

Newry skipper TJ Hughes netted directly from a free-kick to pull one back for the visitors five minutes from time, but despite a late onslaught on the Ards goal, Newry were unable to find that elusive equaliser.

Speaking to shortly after the match, Newry Reserves boss Ronan Casey said:  “For all our possession and control we had on that game, it counted for nothing when we weren’t able to capitalise on it. Their goalkeeper had a fairly quiet night and that tells a story in itself. The majority of the chances we had weren’t clear cut and for any that were, we seemed to make the wrong decision. We’ll have to accept that we didn’t deserve anything from the game and learn from it. We are on the road again on Saturday to Ballymena and hopefully we can right tonight’s wrongs at the Ballymena Showgrounds.”

After a lively start by the home side, Newry settled well into the game and had a great early chance to take the lead when Sokei John found himself straight through on goal after 10 minutes. With only the keeper to beat, in a one on one situation, his split second delay in taking the shot allowed centre half Gregg Parker the opportunity to get his foot in and clear the ball to safety.

Newry controlled possession well for the rest of the half, not allowing the home side to get into any particular rhythm. Chances came and went for TJ Hughes, Josh Durnin and Ryan Duffy as the half wore on but there was nothing clear cut and Brett Clydesdale in the home goal didn’t have to work particularly hard to keep his side in the game. The last chance of the first half fell to Ards’ Adam Munn who beat Jordan Mackey to a through ball from Niall Grimley. Just as he was about to strike, a brilliant piece of covering on the inside by Zach Annett saw the ball scrambled to safety, and at that the first half drew to a close.

Half time: Ards II  0 – 0  Newry Reserves

The second half started much in the same way that the first ended with Newry keeping possession for long periods but without really getting in behind the Ards rearguard. It was that lack of cutting edge that would eventually see Newry punished when a ball over the top in the 70th minute wasn’t cleared and Adam Munn ran through to coolly finish past Lewis Hunter from 10 yards, much to the delight of the home support.

This forced Newry to open up a bit more and commit more bodies into attack but as was the theme of the night, they just couldn’t seem to work the ball into areas that would likely trouble the home side. In the 82nd minute, it was two nil when Newry were caught on the counter attack and with men out of position Adam Brown raced through from just beyond the half way line to slot home.

TJ Hughes hit a late consolation directly from a free kick in the 85th minute, but the home side were able to hold on for all three points after late efforts from Tiarnan Murphy and Lee Hutchinson had called Clydesdale into action.

Full time: Ards II  2 – 1  Newry Reserves

Newry City Reserves: Lewis HunterLeigh Crooks, Zach Annett, Jordan Mackey, Ryan Duffy, Mark McCullough, Josh Durnin, Lee Hutchinson, Sokemeibi John, TJ Hughes (C), Kealan Morgan

Subs: James Irwin, Jervis McCaul, Tiarnan Murphy, Tiernan O’Reilly