THE season my just be about to come to a close but Oran Kearney already has one eye on the next one.
The Bannsiders boss told Times Sport on Saturday that he has already earmarked several players he would like to bring to The Showgrounds, but a new playing surface is high on the list of priorities in the close season.
“It has been an enjoyable season,” said Kearney.
“The big thing for me was securing top six again and hopefully push on in a cup or push for Europe. Obviously we’re just not quite there at this point in time, but at the same stretch when you look at how long it has taken the likes of Cliftonville and Crusaders to get in that position it shows it doesn’t just happen overnight.
“I believe we are heading in the right direction. The new pitch would be a huge catalyst for us.
“Even if we weren’t to strengthen the squad if we were to get the 3g pitch here I believe it would add another 10 or 15 points to our total. The pitch has been a leveller for us against teams we should be beating.
“Whereas if we had a pitch that no matter what time of the year we were able to move it about week in, week out it would have a major impact on us.
“I already have one eye on next season in terms of who will hopefully be coming in and who may be moving on.
“We have to sit down and finalise the budget and see where best to use the available money. Like everything the recession does continue to have an impact and you have to keep one eye on that and see who will fit into our budget.
“We’ll probably have a few heading out the door and then we’ll look to see what we can add to what’s already here.
“We’ve a few players earmarked but we just have to wait and see.”
The Bannsiders travel to Glentoran for their final game this Saturday and and Kearney wants to finish with a win.
“We want to kick on and finish the season on a real high,” he said.
“I’m sure they’ll have one eye on the cup final, but we’ll not be thinking about that.
“We had the dinner on Saturday night and we want to be coming up the road in good form and hopefully with three points.”