John McDonnell is back as manager of Newry City — ten years after leaving the club.
The Dubliner — who succeeds Gerry Flynn after his resignation a week ago — was in charge of the border club when they made their first venture into Europe in the summer of 1999, but quit shortly after winning two home games in the Intertoto Cup.
And he has been tempted back to the club by the ambition of chairman Paul McKenna, despite his breakdown in relations with Flynn.
“I got a phone call and was asked to come to a meeting and the chairman’s plans look very good,” said McDonnell, who has been out of management since leaving St Patrick’s Athletic in January.
“I came up and the place is very familiar to me, there is a good bunch of lads here, a young squad and the opportunity is there for them to do well.”
McDonnell met with his new squad of players last night and while he will be at training on Thursday and Saturday’s home match with Glentoran, it won’t be until Monday that he takes full charge.
“The first aim is to get something against Glentoran on Saturday and then against Glenavon and Institute after that.
“I have only just met the players, but I have told them that last Saturday, taking a point away from Crusaders who are top of the league at the minute, is the yardstick.
“They are four points off the top of the league at present and are in good form, so it’s something to aim for over the next few weeks.”