Belfast Telegraph

Welders' boss Gary Smyth is 'not ready' for Glentoran hotseat

By Stuart McKinley

Gary Smyth has revealed that he would love to manage Glentoran - just not now.

The former Oval favourite met with club directors on Monday night to discuss the possibility of him taking over as boss from Eddie Patterson, who was sacked after Saturday's 2-0 win over Carrick Rangers.

Smyth, however, left the meeting without being offered the job and instead of leading the Glens into action against Warrenpoint Town this Saturday, he will be trying to keep H&W Welders - where he has been for almost two years - at the top of the Championship 1 table when they travel to Donegal Celtic.

"I did meet with Glentoran, we talked, but I don't have the required qualifications to take the job," said Smyth, who holds a Uefa B Licence, but not the A Licence that is needed to manage in the Premiership, or the Pro badge, which is a must for teams playing in Europe.

"There is maybe a way round that, but we just talked, there was no offer and I don't think there will be - besides, I am having a great time at the Welders.

"Being manager of Glentoran is the right job for me, but it's the wrong time right now.

"If I was going to go there I would rather go fully qualified, be that with an A Licence or the Pro Licence and I hope to get that far in the next two to three years.

"If the job was to come up again in the future, I would also have more experience to take into it and be better equipped myself."

Smyth's former Oval team-mate Paul Leeman remains in the mix, possibly with an experienced and qualified mentor beside him as he, like Smyth, doesn't have an A Licence.

Another former Glens defender, Pat McGibbon, remains a strong contender and unlike the other two he can step straight into the post as he does have the required coaching qualifications.

Former Northern Ireland international McGibbon is understood to have impressed the Glentoran board when interviewed for the post in 2012, only to lose out to Patterson.

The club's director of football, Roy Coyle, will be in charge for the Warrenpoint game.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to France in their opening European under-17 Championship qualifier.

Jim Magilton's boys managed to keep the French scoreless until 15 minutes from time, when Glenavon's Liam McKenna brought down Rafik Guitane inside the box and Mickaël Cuisance stepped up to score the winner from the penalty spot.

Northern Ireland's agony was compounded when Matthew Lynch was sent off in injury time.

He will now miss tomorrow's meeting with Norway, which is a must-win after hosts Israel beat the Norwegians 3-1.

Belfast Telegraph


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