Belfast Telegraph

McMahon committed to the long term at Dromara

By Martin Mawhinney

It may not have been an ideal season so far for Gerard McMahon, but he remains as committed to the Dromara Village cause as ever.

The Bellsbridge manager and his side moved off bottom place in Division 1A with victory over Barn United at the weekend, and are now just two points off moving out of the dreaded bottom two altogether. But McMahon has moved to reassure supporters that he is in this post for the long term – no matter how the next few weeks pan out.

The former Northern Ireland international has even revealed that he has had job offers from clubs outside and above the Amateur League, but is determined to restore their top flight status, however long that might take.

He told The Park: “We have been unlucky in a lot of our matches. We have lost a few that we should have drawn, and we drew a few that we should have won.

“But at the end of the day, the league table doesn’t lie, though we will not give anything up unless it becomes mathematically impossible.

“There have been times that I have thought ‘would they be better off without me,’ and other clubs have sounded me out – I have been offered to work in a coaching capacity in the Championship – but I have no intentions of going anywhere.

“The club have backed me 100 per cent. I can have no complaints on that front. This is going to be a long term thing, but I want to stay here until we get Dromara back were they belong.”

Of course, no club has a divine right to be at any level of the game, but it isn’t that long ago since Dromara made back-to-back appearances in the Border Cup final, in 2009 and 2010.

Having avoided the drop by three points last season, there were hopes of consolidation this season, but McMahon stresses that things haven’t been that straightforward.

He continued: “1A is a very strong division, and there are plenty of players in it that could be playing at a higher level. But with three teams to run, I have found myself dipping into the seconds and thirds.

“Then when we signed Conor McAnallen there recently from Armagh City, he picked up a medial ligament injury that has ruled him out for four to six weeks.”

McMahon, and all connected with the Villagers, could easily be forgiven for thinking that fate is conspiring against them. However, in adversity lies opportunity, and there have been some signs of the green shoots of recovery.

The Dromara gaffer added: “What we have had is progress from the young players. We have had been able to give a chance to three or four players from the Under-17s into the equation, and while young guys do have a tendency to perhaps let their heads drop a little when they go behind, they have acquitted themselves well.

“The experience will stand these boys in good stead, and if they stay at Dromara, it will serve the club well. Along with that, we need some more experience, too. We have a bit of that at the moment, but not one of our players has played Amateur League football for 10 years or more – perhaps that is something I need to look at. ”

So a busy summer lies ahead for McMahon, then. The reassuring thing for Dromara is that with such a task facing them, they have a man so committed to taking them back to where they want to be.     

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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