Ards and Glentoran to open big weekend of local football

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Colin Nixon, Ards manager and Glens legend

The North Down club's manager made a record 794 appearances for the Glens

Glentoran legend Colin Nixon will attempt to sink his old club on Friday night.

Nixon is now Ards manager and they face the Glens in a Danske Bank Premiership match in Bangor.

Victory would see the north Down side leapfrog their rivals into eighth place. 

Nixon - who made a record 794 appearances for Glentoran - says it will be a special night, but with no room for sentiment...

Gary Haveron, who pipped Nixon to the manager's job at the Oval last year, says he wishes him well - although not this week.

The big match on Saturday sees leaders Crusaders hosting north Belfast rivals Cliftonville, currently third in the standings.


Spanish striker Mikel Suarez could make his debut for the Crues. 

The 30-year-old has played non-league football in England and will be a useful addition to the squad, according to teammate Richard Clarke.

Second plays fourth at Windsor Park with Linfield up against David Jeffrey's Ballymena United.

The Blues have been boosted by a number of players signing contract extensions - Matthew Clarke, Gareth Deane, Mark Haughey, Niall Quinn and Mark Stafford. 

Ballinamallard welcome Coleraine to Ferney Park this weekend.

It's another chance for the Fermanagh fans to see talented young winger Niall Owens.

Mallards manager Gavin Dykes believes the schoolboy could be in line for a career across the water.

Meanwhile, the Bannsiders will be without striker Eoin Bradley for some time after he sustained broken ribs and a punctured lung last Saturday against Portadown.

Bradley's former Glenavon teammate Jonny Tuffey says everyone in the league wishes him a speedy recovery.

Tuffey and the Lurgan Blues have a Mid-Ulster derby away to the Ports on Saturday and in the other fixture Carrick Rangers entertain Dungannon Swifts.


Danske Bank Premiership

Friday 20 January, 7.45pm

Ards  v  Glentoran

Saturday 21 January, 3pm

Ballinamallard United  v  Coleraine

Carrick Rangers  v  Dungannon Swifts

Crusaders  v  Cliftonville

Linfield  v  Ballymena United

Portadown  v  Glenavon

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