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I'm man to drive Ards forward, says proud Nixon

By Keith Bailie

New Ards boss Colin Nixon has spoke of his immense pride at becoming the manager of his hometown club.

Although Nixon is closely associated with Glentoran, he grew up in Newtownards and his uncle Billy captained Ards to four trophies in the 1973-74 season.

Nixon has replaced Niall Currie, who left for Portadown earlier this month.

At last night's press conference in the club's Francis Street social club, Nixon said: "There were plenty of candidates with more experience, but I have a proven track record of winning and I strongly believe I can bring that to Ards Football Club.

"This is my hometown club, I grew up in Newtownards and it's a town that means the world to me. I believe this town deserves a strong football club and I believe I'm the man to drive this club forward.

"It also means a lot to me because my family has been associated with Ards for decades. My uncle and my brother have a deep love for the club.

"When I heard from the chairman I had got the job, my first feeling was of immense pride. I'm looking forward to meeting the players and focusing on Saturday's game with Coleraine."

Nixon has appointed his brother Darren as his assistant. Darren spent a decade at Ards, captaining the club to the 2012-13 Championship One title.

Darren, who has quit as a player at Harland & Wolff Welders, said: "When my brother offered me the job, he basically ended my playing career!

"I'm sad to leave the Welders because I have enjoyed it but I have always been an Ards man, so it's an honour to take this job.

"We are a Newtownards family and we're passionate supporters. We are going to put the 'Ards' back into Ards Football Club."

Chairman Brian Adams confirmed that the Nixons have agreed a deal until the end of the season, with their prime objective being to keep Ards in the Danske Bank Premiership - they are currently ninth in the table.

Nixon was appointed on Monday after a round of interviews, fending off competition from former Derry coach Marty McCann.

Warrenpoint Town manager Matthew Tipton was due to be interviewed but he dropped out of the race on Monday after discussions with the Milltown club's Director of Football, Barry Gray. The South Down club are currently top of the Championship.

The Nixon brothers are in discussions with current first-team coach John Bailie about his position at the club, with former Ards boss Currie keen to bring him to Shamrock Park.

The Nixon era will start on Saturday when Ards travel to The Showgrounds to face Oran Kearney's Coleraine (3pm). They will be without the suspended Kyle Cherry and the injured duo of Aaron Hogg and Jamie Douglas.

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