View Full Version : Extratime Prediction

28/02/2012, 2:57 PM
Bray Wanderers Preview 2012
By Cathal Wogan

Last season: 6th (Premier Division)

In: Jason Byrne (Dundalk), Adam Hanlon (Arklow Town), Jonathan Kelty (Arklow Town), Ian Byrne (Shamrock Rovers)
Out: Gary Dempsey (Waterford United), Jake Kelly (St Pat’s) Gary Shaw (Longford Town), Shane O’Neill (Dundalk), Chris Shields (Dundalk), Conor Murphy (Monaghan United), Derek Prendergast (Drogheda United)

To hang the thoughts of Bray Wanderers fans upon the simple terms of optimism or pessimism would be to ignore the curious nature of the usual crowd at the Carlisle Grounds. There is always hope that any given season’s injection of youth will provide excitement, maybe even putting points on the board, yet that is always accompanied by a simultaneous expectancy of the worst, of a no joy season of toil.

After a relatively successful league campaign last year, eventually coming a comfortable sixth with close to the same playing resources that only just escaped relegation the season before, perhaps the natural course would be to hope to push on. However, the exodus of some of the club’s top talent in the form of Gary Dempsey, Jake Kelly and Chris Shields without like for like replacements will ensure that the Seagulls will be looking down rather than up in 2012.

The return of Jason Byrne has turned some heads. The veteran striker was part of the 1999 FAI Cup winning team with the evergreen, or at least still standing, Colm Tresson, who is still keeping the youngsters in check at 40-years-old. While there is a romantic side to Byrne’s presence, it does little to alleviate the problem of a glaring lack of pace in attack after the departures of Kelly and Shane O’Neill.

The first round ties in the Setanta Sports Cup and Bray’s pre-season friendlies suggest that the flair and incisiveness needed to create goals will have to be provided by Kieran Marty Waters, a striker who only began to make his mark in the first team at the end of last season. Waters could indeed be one of the league’s big surprises if his pace and desire can flourish in combination with the hulking physical presence of Byrne.

Defence will be key for the Seasiders in 2012. The league’s best-kept secret, Adam Mitchell, and new prospect Pierce Sweeney will be two of Pat Devlin’s most important players this year as his side struggle to stay in the top tier. Either side of those centre backs though, exploitable gaps could emerge for teams that can attack down the flanks.

With a considerably stronger and well-balanced Premier Division this season, it is difficult to see Bray achieving what they did last term. Staying in the league will represent a successful campaign and, despite any soundings otherwise, most Bray fans will quietly admit that toil lies ahead.

ExtraTime Prediction: 11th

28/02/2012, 5:45 PM
ucd finishing ahead of us made me laugh

28/02/2012, 6:25 PM
Good article, very honest and to the point, however I can not agree with his prediction, we should finish higher than UCD, Mons, Dundalk, Drogs. We need to be solid at the back and looking at the squad I think we have some decent defenders altough I can not see us scoring too many goals. Injuries will play a part and already Shane O Connor & Stephen (sicknote) Brennan are out long term.