Jamie McGonigle

The attacker previews Saturday's clash against Dungannon Swifts

McGonigle: ‘We need to hit the ground running’

COLERAINE striker Jamie McGonigle speaks to colerainefc.com ahead of the new Danske Bank Premiership campaign…

Last season’s top goalscorer Jamie McGonigle has targeted 25 goals in all competitions this time around as the Bannsiders commence their league season with a trip to face Dungannon Swifts.

The 21-year-old scored an impressive 19 goals last season and admits he is getting used to the rigours of Irish League football.

“I feel like I’ve settled into Irish League football,” McGonigle said.

“I’m still young and have lots to learn, but that’ll come over the next two or three years.

“I’ve set a target of 25 goals this season.

“Last year it was 10, but I smashed that, so I’ve set the bar higher and to give myself something to hit.

McGonigle will face competition from Eoin Bradley and new signing Joe McCready for a starting berth in the Stripes attack, but the Northern Ireland under 21 international is relishing the battle.

“Skinner is great to play with because if you stay close to him he can knock the defenders out of the road,” McGonigle joked.

“Joe is a good player and he demonstrated that with his two goals against Ballyclare as they were brilliant finishes.

“With the league starting this week hopefully he is back in the squad.”

Oran Kearney’s men will be aiming to make a positive start to the season but the last visit to Stangmore Park (a 4-0 defeat) remains long in the memory.

“We went up there at the start of last season and got beat 4-0 because we weren’t at our best,” McGonigle added.

“We will make sure it won’t be like that this time.

“We need to get off to a good start as last season it was a little up and down up until Boxing Day.

“This year we need to hit the ground running and who knows what could happen.”