Colin McIlwaine says his rebuilding job at Albert Foundry is bang on track after they downed title-chasing Rosario on Saturday.
Young midfielder Neil Ballentine grabbed both of the goals in a 2-1 win at Paisley Park, the club’s first over any team ahead of them in sixth place in 1A.
Yet rather than use arguably Foundry’s best result of the season to argue his work there is ahead of schedule, McIlwaine was urging caution, insisting his club are nowhere close to challenging the top five.
That might come next year, but for now and over the course of their remaining seven league games, the Foundry chief insists it’s all about keeping morale high and ensuring Foundry keep moving in the right direction.
“Where we are is not any different to what I expected,” said McIlwaine. “To be totally honest, I thought we’d be in and around the middle of the table.
“We’ve won four out of our last five, and three of them were teams below us, so yes, we’ve been close against Comber and Kilmore, but not close enough.
“But yesterday was a big improvement, Rosario are a quality team but we went out and matched them all over the park and gave 100 per cent.
“We had to battle and scrap for it. We’re in a rebuilding process, I’ve signed a lot of players, a lot of them will be seasoned pros, but it’s the club I’m trying to build.
“I’m trying to get players around the youngsters who are already there because there are some really good young players at this club.
“What I identified at the start was we were lacking experience and lacking numbers so things are a lot more positive in and around the place, on and off the park.
“But we’ll not get carried away, we’re still up and down, but we’ll target that top six spot on the understanding that, with a good pre-season and adding a few new faces, maybe we’ll be a force to be reckoned with next year.
“It’s not going to happen overnight, but it’s just good to see Foundry getting a buzz around the place again.”