Scott fired up by Glentoran’s young guns
Glentoran boss Scott Young is more of a realist than a dreamer these days. When you have been forced to retire from playing the sport you love through injury at the age of 26, you tend to think that way.
He's well aware though that, as manager of the club, on his shoulders rest the dreams of thousands of Glentoran fans.
He accepts and relishes the responsibility.
With the new Irish League season fast approaching, it brings with it fresh hope for all supporters, not least the loyal Glens following, who have endured a nightmare time in recent years.
Not only have fierce rivals Linfield picked up so much silverware they are running out of space in their trophy cabinet, there has been the unbearable pain for Glenmen of seeing their own club almost go out of business due to massive financial problems.
Thankfully for all involved in local football, and not just those from east Belfast, the Glens are still alive and kicking even if budgetary constraints combined with staff pay cuts make it seem like Young is having to do his job blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back.
The Oval faithful displayed understanding of a difficult situation in Young's first full season in charge, but ahead of the 2011-2012 campaign, which begins on Saturday, the Scot knows that patience will only last so long.
“Our fans have sympathised with the situation at the club, but that won't stop them demanding results,” says the engaging Young, an outstanding and successful midfielder for the Glens before a third leg break in two years ended his playing career in 2006.
“I've always got on well with the Glentoran fans and am fortunate to have enjoyed a good relationship with them, but I know that football is the most fickle sport in the world.
“One day you are loved and the next you are nothing.”
Straight talking as always he adds: “I'm honoured to be in charge of Glentoran but there is one sure thing about being manager that inevitably you will be replaced. I'm hoping that doesn't come for a long time yet. I'm determined to build something really special at Glentoran and over the next few years want to put us in a position where we are the dominant force in the Irish League.”
Achieving that will be tough for the Glaswegian, who admits to doting on wife Eleanor and gorgeous daughters Georgia (10) and Jessica (6), because Linfield once again look to be in a league of their own.
On the upside if Young's key summer signing, the gifted Stephen Carson, clicks with the supremely talented Gary Hamilton, back in the fold after being out in the cold, the Glens will be exciting to watch going forward while at the back Colin Nixon and Sean Ward provide plenty of class to make it difficult for opposing forwards.
The Glens boss, who at 34 retains his baby face features, won't just be looking to high profile names to deliver though.
He wants the youngsters of Glentoran to shine, just as they did when surprising Macedonian outfit Renova in the Europa League earlier in the summer.
“That was one of my best nights in football,” says Young, who learnt a lot last season from dealing with the media to man managing players.
“It gave everyone a lift, especially because it was achieved with so many young players.
“The club is in a transitional period. That's not making excuses – that's a fact.
“I want to be successful and a big aim of mine is to bring through young, local lads who love the thought of playing for Glentoran and dream of winning trophies here. When I first came over to play at the club in 1998 we had Andy Kirk, Stuart Elliott, Paul Leeman and Colin Nixon – all young lads who came through the ranks.
“They have been few and far between since – maybe the last one to make a big impact was Sean Ward. I want to see more of our kids make it and take this club back to the top. It'll take a lot of work, but I'm ready for the challenge.”