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Gavin Dykes succeeds Whitey Anderson but Ballinamallard's future remains unclear

football

By Stuart McKinley

Gavin Dykes is back in the Irish League, over a decade after cutting his managerial teeth with Newry City.

As yet, however, he still doesn't know which division he will be managing in next season.

Ballinamallard United have appointed the 48-year-old as the successor to Whitey Anderson and they are hoping that his extensive knowledge of football around the border regions will reap benefits.

Dykes hails from Sligo, where he was in charge of Sligo Rovers' youth set-up, and that's an area that Anderson regularly tapped into when recruiting players.

As well as that, Dykes' most recent role was as assistant manager at Finn Harps and he will now scour the north-west area in an attempt to bolster his new squad.

Ballinamallard chairman Jeff Aiken said: "We are delighted to get a man of Gavin's experience on board and I'm confident that he will be able to build on the successes of Whitey Anderson.

"His knowledge of the local game and his proven track record in the development of youth were an obvious attraction."

Dykes joined Newry City as a player in 2000 and took his first steps into management when he succeeded Alfie Wylie as boss two years later.

He returned to Derry City, where he'd played in the Candystripes' League of Ireland winning team of 1997, to join the coaching staff before becoming manager in September 2003, but only lasted eight month in the job.

The Mallards had beaten Institute 2-1 in the first leg of the promotion/relegation play-off, but the second leg was postponed as the Irish FA investigated former Carrick Rangers manager Gary Haveron.

Despite Haveron serving a suspension in the wrong match, Carrick escaped punishment and were spared relegation, with Warrenpoint Town being sent down after finishing bottom of the Premiership.

The season officially finished yesterday, May 31, without the play-off being completed.

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