Belfast Telegraph

Feeney's Linfield departure: No one can blame family man Warren for his decision

By Noel Bailie MBE

For Warren Feeney, it seems that the opportunity to work close to his family was just too good to turn down.

And who could blame him?

I don't think that it has anything to do with Newport County being a bigger club than Linfield or otherwise, just because they have taken the Blues' manager away - it was just too good an opportunity to knock back.

I do think that if it had been any other club, in any other location - be it in England or Wales - he would have stayed at Linfield.

His family has been based there for a while, his wife and children have stayed in the area while he has been here managing Linfield, and I am sure that living away from them for more than a year has been tough for him.

I don't, however, think it was inevitable that Warren was going to leave once the offer from Newport County came in, because he loves Linfield so much.

He will have thought long and hard about things because of the fact that he loves Linfield and he loved the job, too.

It's not as if Linfield allowed him to go easily either.

Read more:

Tearful Warren Feeney: It was a tough call for me to leave Linfield 

Feeney: Daughter's birthday phone call sealed decision to quit 

The club tried hard to keep him at Windsor Park and I expect that he took that into account when making his mind up.

Ultimately, I think it has come down to a family decision.

It will have been a very big decision for him and I am sure that he has found it hard to walk away from Linfield.

He will have weighed things up, though, and I think that in the end his family was the pull for him.

Warren is still a young man and his children are young too. He will want to spend time with them over the coming years while they are still young and growing up.

It's not like he's in his 50s with a grown-up family who have moved away and I expect that was the crucial thing in his decision.

I think anyone in his position would have done the same thing.

He has gone to work with a friend in John Sheridan as well and that will have been another important factor.

Making that move and working alongside someone you know and trust should make the transition easier for him.

Linfield have to move on now too and look for a new manager, which is something they aren't used to doing, and they will take their time to get the right man in place.

Noel Bailie is a former Linfield captain and the club's record appearance holder, having played more than 1,000 games during a 20-year career.

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