Glentoran appoint Alan Kernaghan: Chairman Stephen Henderson wants to challenge for league triumph
Glentoran chairman Stephen Henderson believes Alan Kernaghan's "strength of character, knowledge of the game and hunger for success" can help transform the Glens into formidable title challengers again.
Eddie Patterson guided the club to two Irish Cup triumphs in three seasons before the curtain was brought down on his reign but the Glens haven't won the league title since 2009 and former Republic of Ireland defender Kernaghan has been asked to bring the glory days back to The Oval.
Currently in sixth position, 13 points adrift of league leaders Crusaders, the east-Belfast side will need to place their foot on the gas to put pressure on the pacesetters but the former Clyde and Dundee chief is well aware of expectation levels on Mersey Street.
"We have no right to win trophies but we have a right to expect to be challenging," said Henderson as he introduced Kernaghan to the media yesterday.
"The league is our bread and butter and what we want to be judged on.
"European football and pushing towards the top of the league table are goals we have set for Alan."
Glentoran talked to several candidates including former Glens players Gary Smyth and Pat McGibbon but Kernaghan, who has been handed a one-and-a-half year deal, moved into pole position for the post once Kenny Shiels accepted the Derry City job.
Henderson added: "Many purported candidates have played out their interest in the press, some no doubt with their own agendas, however the club have maintained a dignified silence throughout, fully confident that once the right candidate was identified for the job our only offer for the post would be accepted. We are therefore delighted to welcome that candidate as our manager.
"Alan brings a wealth of experience at the highest level of the game.
"No other club in Northern Ireland can boast a manager whose playing record includes so much English Premier League experience and involvement in a World Cup finals tournament.
"When coupled with management and coaching experience that includes a Scottish Cup semi-final, the Championship play-offs in England and extensive Academy experience at Rangers, Alan has a track record on his CV which is extremely appealing. However, what became clear since the first interview was his strength of character, knowledge of the game and a hunger for success which matches our expectations.
"We look forward to working with Alan as he guides our club to success on the pitch in the future, most notably seeing a reversal in the trend of our finishing position in the league and a hands on role in accelerating the development of talented young players through our Academy."