Belfast Telegraph

Fond farewell to Portadown boss Ronnie McFall... come in David Jeffrey

By Steven Beacom

European football's longest serving manager Ronnie McFall will depart the Portadown hotseat at the end of the season... and wants former Linfield boss David Jeffrey to replace him.

McFall, in charge at Shamrock Park for 29 years, has come under pressure this season after poor results and despite his legendary status at the club was even booed by a section of fans during Saturday's 3-1 league defeat at home to Crusaders.

In an intriguing development yesterday, Portadown released a statement saying that McFall had "recognised that the time is approaching for the Board to be thinking about a possible successor, and has kindly offered to help in the process and facilitate a smooth transition."

That process will begin shortly with McFall expected to remain until the end of this campaign before his replacement moves in.

Former Portadown and Northern Ireland defender Pat McGibbon joined McFall's backroom team as a physio yesterday, sparking suggestions he was being groomed to take over. He will be a contender but the man McFall would ideally want to see at Shamrock Park is the legendary Jeffrey, who left Linfield last May after guiding them to a staggering 31 trophies.

Sources close to Jeffrey say he would welcome a return to management and would see taking over at Portadown as a huge challenge.

He is a friend of McFall, who knows it would be a massive coup for his club if they could land the ex-Windsor Park supremo.

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