Longford Town begin their 2018 SSE Airtricity League first division campaign against Cobh Ramblers at the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night.
After replacing Alan Mathews in the Longford managerial hot seat last season, Neale Fenn will be confident of being in the promotion shake-up come October.
Fenn has appointed Daire Doyle as his assistant manager, Doyle having played in the 2007 FAI Cup Final defeat to Cork City.
There has been a huge change in personnel in the Town squad ahead of Saturday’s encounter with the departure of many established players including several of the First Division title winning squad of 2014.
The club’s leading all time goal scorer David O’Sullivan has moved to Shelbourne. Paul Skinner, Rhys Gorman, Noel Haverty, Don Cowan, Jake Kelly and Kevin O’Connor have also departed the club.
Remaining with the club from last season are goalkeeper Jack Brady, defenders Alan Kehoe, Tristian Noack-Hofmann and player of the 2017 season, Daniel O’Reilly.
Midfielders Dean Zambra, Sam Verdon, Peter Hopkins, Cian Byrne, Aodh Dervin and striker Karl Chambers have also been retained.
There is also a welcome return to the ‘Red and Black’ for winger Dylan McGlade who played with the club for some of last season before leaving to travel abroad.
The 15 newcomers include recent Premier division winner Darren Meenan, experienced striker Chris Mulhall, defenders Shane Elworthy and Adam O’Connor, midfielders Andy O’Reilly and Jamie Hollywood.
Fenn had no injury concerns ahead of the visit of Cobh.
The town found the going tough against Ramblers last season, losing three of the four league meetings.
Longford lost 3-1 at home in the second series of games, and also lost both away contests though did manage to win 2-1 at home in the other league meeting.