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Glentoran’s Sean Ward and Linfield’s Peter Thompson with the Gibson Cup at today’s launch of the Danske Bank Premiership (Picture: Darren Kidd/


THE wait is almost over for the start of the new Danske Bank premiership which kicks off on Saturday.

Launched today at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, the players, managers and chairmen from each of the 12 clubs were joined by Gerry Mallon, Chief Executive of Northern Bank, and paraded in front of the local media ahead of the 2012/123 Danske Bank Premiership season.

Aubry Ralph, Chairman of the Premiership Management Committee, said: "Today's event really brings it home how close we are to the start of the new season, and the players and managers are all ready for the kick-off on Saturday.

"Having a sponsor with the calibre of Danske Bank is fantastic for our Premiership clubs and I am sure that we are in for another exciting season in our Domestic game."

Northern Bank Chief Executive Gerry Mallon said: “This is a very exciting day for us - not only as the start of a new football season, but also the first time we have given visibility of our new brand, Danske Bank. 

"This partnership with the IFA in the Danske Bank Premiership makes sense to us in many more ways that just a business deal.

"Having been in Northern Ireland for over 200 years, our customers and our staff are the supporters of these local premiership clubs.

"We see great opportunities for staff and community involvement, and this involvement at a local level is very important to us. 

“As one of my colleagues said when we announced the news Danske Bank Premiership, "what a fantastic start for our new brand" - and I couldn't agree more.”

Danske Bank Premiership – Saturday 11 August 2012 (3pm kick off)
Ballinamallard United v. Dungannon Swifts
Ballymena United v. Linfield
Cliftonville v. Glenavon
Coleraine v. Crusaders
Glentoran v. Donegal Celtic
Portadown v. Lisburn Distillery