Mahon seeks front cover
Pats boss fears he's light on strikers as season begins
PETE MAHON says that St Patrick's Athletic are still in the market for a centre forward as the Saints kick off their season in Belfast tonight.
A new-look Saints side heads North today to take on Cliftonville in the Setanta Sports Cup for their first game of the 2011 season, offering Pats fans their first chance to see some of their new signings, such as Stephen Bradley (Shamrock Rovers), Paul Crowley (Drogheda) and the UCD trio of Evan McMillan, David McMillan and Brian Shortall.
Pats made another new signing late last night as utility man Anto Murphy re-signed for Pats from Bohemians, though Murphy will not be eligible to play in tonight's game in Belfast.
The departure of forwards like Ryan Guy, Paul Byrne and Vinny Faherty has left Pats very light up front and Mahon is keen to add some more firepower before the league season starts.
"We have only three senior strikers at the moment and that is a bit of a concern as we will be playing in six competitions this season, but I haven't been able to get anyone else in," says Mahon as front players like Glen Crowe and Conan Byrne turned down the chance to move to Richmond Park.
"I will continue to look around and see what I can get, but there aren't too many strikers available at the moment.
"Jordan Keegan has joined us from Southampton. He was training with us for a while last season but didn't sign, but we have him on board now. He's a very exciting talent and could be a great player for the club but he's still young so we need more experience."
Mahon could hand debuts to some of the new signings against Cliftonville tonight and he has pleaded with Saints fans to be patient as the new-look side beds in.
"It takes time for a new team to gel and this team will need time so I hope the fans will bear with us. We have a lot of new players and it won't happen overnight for us, but I am excited about the season and our new signings," added Mahon, who is unsure if new recruit Shane McFaul will be fit to play tonight after he failed to train yesterday due to a bug.
"This is a good game for us to start with, we've had the friendly games but now we have a competitive match at last. Cliftonville are a decent side. They are second in the Irish League and will be strong at home so it's a good test of how we'll do this season."