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Season Preview: Bray Wanderers

Tue, Mar 05 2013

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Bray Wanderers


Year Founded: 1942
Stadium: The Carlisle Grounds
Manager: Pat Devlin
Key Player:  Kieran Marty Waters

Bray Wanderers will be hoping to improve on what was a largely disappointing league campaign in 2012 but the loss of several key players during the off-season means Pat Devlin’s side are likely to be looking down rather than up in 2013.

The Seagulls were a model of inconsistency throughout 2012 as they finished in tenth position, with only struggling Dundalk below them in the table. The departure of defenders Sean Houston and Dane Massey as
well as the loss of Pierce Sweeney last July, means their defensive ranks are looking extremely bare; an issue which will give Devlin sleepless nights considering only the Lilywhites conceded more goals last season.

Gary Dempsey’s arrival for his third stint by the Seaside is a big bonus and after both Jason Byrne and Kieran Marty Waters signed on for another year, there is plenty of room for optimism around the Carlisle Grounds.

The new season yields hope that their young but talented squad can compete with the bigger boys of the league once again and push for a top-half finish. If their pre-season form is anything to go by, then they are heading in the right direction. Comfortable victories over a Wexford League XI and Waterford United have put the Seagulls in good stead ahead of their league opener against Shelbourne.

As Drogheda United showed last year, there is always a surprise package in the Airtricity League and Bray are one of those sides who will be looking to spring a few shocks but their vulnerability at the back as well as their reliance on Byrne means that they once again will find themselves towards the lower regions of the table.

Bray have been handed a tough opening set of fixtures with away trips to champions Sligo, Drogheda and Derry wedged in between home clashes with Shels and Cork City. However, over the course of the season they should have enough to avoid the drop.