The Danske Bank Premiership 2017/18 season has been officially launched at an event in the Mervyn Brown Suite at the National Stadium at Windsor Park with players and managers from all 12 clubs in attendance.
NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston is excited at what promises to be one of the most tightly contested Premiership seasons in recent years: “Last season we witnessed one of the most dramatic title races in recent times with the destination of the Gibson Cup determined on a nail biting last day of the Season. Linfield overcame a 9 point deficit to win the Danske Bank Premiership to deny Crusaders a third successive title. Linfield will be keen to retain their title but it won’t be easy as all twelve clubs have set about their business in recent months to strengthen their playing squads for the new season.”
Nicola McCleery, Head of Marketing at Danske Bank said: “We’re very proud to be entering our sixth season as title sponsors of the Danske Bank Premiership. Our partnership with the Northern Ireland Football League in both the Men’s and Women’s Premierships is very important to us; it not only allows us to play our part in the community but also provides good visibility for our brand given the strong following behind all the clubs. We are delighted to be here at the National Stadium at Windsor Park and alongside the teams, the fans and the followers that make the Premiership such a success. We look forward to an exciting season ahead.”
This Friday sees last year’s 3rd v 2nd, Ballymena United & Crusaders, meet at Ballymena Showgrounds while the Champions, Linfield, will entertain Carrick Rangers on Saturday at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.
Elsewhere on Saturday (3pm) – Glentoran will travel to Fermanagh to take on Ballinamallard, Cliftonville will welcome back Joe Gormley back to competitive action against Ards at Solitude, Coleraine and Dungannon Swifts will be wanting to build on an encouraging last term when they meet at Stangmore Park. Last season’s Championship winners Warrenpoint Town host Glenavon for an evening kick off (5.30pm) at Milltown.
Danske Bank Premiership
Friday 11 August – 7:45pm
Ballymena United v Crusaders
Saturday 12 August – 3:00pm
Ballinamallard United v Glentoran
Cliftonville v Ards
Dungannon Swifts v Coleraine
Linfield v Carrick Rangers
Saturday 12 August – 5:30pm
Warrenpoint Town v Glenavon