First Signing of the Summer Window

Newry City AFC are pleased to announce the signing of Seanna Foster upon expiration of his contract with Cliftonville.

 

The 27-year-old, who can operate on the right side of defence or in midfield, arrives at The Showgrounds following five years at Solitude.

 

Belfast native Foster has spent the last two seasons on loan with Bangor, having previously played for Warrenpoint Town, Carrick Rangers and Linfield and beginning his footballing journey at Sheffield Wednesday.

 

First Team Manager Barry Gray said: “I’m delighted to get Seanna on board for the coming season,” said First Team Manager Barry Gray.

“He’s a very experienced player that I know very well from his days at Cliftonville and Warrenpoint. He also comes with valuable Championship experience, following his recent loan spells at Bangor.

“That will no doubt be important for us in the coming months as we bed into life in the Championship.”

 

On joining the club, Foster said: ‘I’m delighted to sign for Newry City.

“I look forward to the challenge that lies ahead as there is a great squad of players and coaching staff here to help the club get back to where they belong, into the Premiership.”

 

Seanna will wear the Number 12 jersey for the club for the 2024/25 season.

Chairman Martin McLoughlin and Vice Chairman Gary Wilson with Damien Hillen new NCAFC Academy Manager. Brendan Monaghan Photography

Newry City AFC appoint new Academy Director

Newry City AFC are delighted to announce Damien Hillen as our new Newry City AFC Academy Director.

NCAFC Chairman Martin McLoughlin commented “The future of any club is its youth and in particular it’s Academy.  With a major project planned to install a new 3G facility behind our main pitch in the coming months we have decided to try a local angle for the academy and with that in mind we have recruited from within the first team coaching staff and are delighted to announce that Damien Hillen has agreed to take over the role of Academy Director. Damien comes with a wealth of experience and a great knowledge of the local soccer scene.
“We are excited for the future of our academy and look forward to building more locally sourced teams. In time we hope Newry City will be a hub for soccer and Damien we feel is the ideal candidate to help accomplish that goal.
“Our outgoing Academy Manager Francis Brennan has been instrumental in the building of our academy from its inception to what it is now and we thank him wholeheartedly for his efforts to date.  We wish Fra well in his coaching and soccer careers and look forward to welcoming him to The Showgrounds in the future.”

 

Damien Hillen NCAFC Academy Director. Brendan Monaghan Photography
Damien Hillen NCAFC Academy Director. Brendan Monaghan Photography

Damien Hillen commented “I am delighted to be appointed Academy Director at Newry City AFC. This is a significant role of real importance, and I look forward to building on the excellent foundations already in place.

“My focus is on making our Academy the number one choice for local players and their parents. We are building a culture of learning and development, where highly qualified coaches will provide a pathway for young players to progress into senior football at Newry or beyond.

“With the development of the new 3G pitch, it’s an exciting time to join the academy and together, we will create an environment where young talented players can flourish and achieve their full potential.”

 

 

Cover Photo: Chairman Martin McLoughlin and Vice Chairman Gary Wilson with Damien Hillen new NCAFC Academy Director.

Brendan Monaghan PhotographyPhotographs Courtesy of Brendan Monaghan Photography.

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.”

Alex O'Brien - Photo Brendan Monaghan Photography

O’Brien Signs at The Showgrounds

Newry City AFC Manager Barry Gray is happy to finish off his January transfer business with the signing of Central Defensive Midfielder Alex O’Brien.

 

Gray commented “It is great to get another player on board. Alex is youthful and hungry to build his senior experience having spent the last four years at Bohemians FC Academy. He brings us much needed defensive cover and we look forward to getting hands on with him on the training pitch and hopefully soon on the main stage.”

Francis McCaffrey - Photo Brendan Monaghan Photography

MCCAFFREY SIGNS AT THE SHOWGROUNDS

Newry City AFC are delighted to announce the signing of Francis McCaffrey on a long-term deal.

 

Barry Gray commented “I am delighted to have Fra onboard, Fra is a highly respected Premiership player with a lot of experience. I believe this will be vital to us moving forward into the big head-to-head games.

 

“Fra will add depth and experience and having worked with him previously I know exactly what to expect from him. I’m looking forward to seeing him on the pitch soon and have no doubt he’ll be a fans favourite.”

 

McCaffrey commented “The opportunity to play football in the Premiership again was too good to turn down. I’m happy to be here at Newry, it is a challenge that I am well up for and I can’t wait to get started. I know a lot of the lads and played against them all so I will fit right into squad.”

 

Photograph Courtesy of Brendan Monaghan Photography