Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran fans must give new boss Alan Kernaghan time

By Scott Young

I was asked the other day if Glentoran are still a big club in the Irish League.

My answer was 100 per cent yes. The fact that the Glens sacked manager Eddie Patterson after winning two Irish Cups in three years adds weight to the argument.

Winning those trophies was fantastic for Eddie and the Glens, but the board have made it clear that they have to be challenging for league championships. That is the bottom line.

My own view is that given the resources at the club, it will take them time to do it, but that is now the challenge ahead for new manager Alan Kernaghan.

First things first, I wish Alan all the best in his new job and genuinely hope he does well at The Oval.

I have walked in his shoes.

Being appointed Glentoran manager was one of the proudest days of my life.

In recent weeks a host of names have been linked to the job with ex-Glens players Gary Smyth and Pat McGibbon mentioned as well as Kenny Shiels, who ended up going to Derry City.

Forget all that. Alan Kernaghan is the boss. That's all that matters now to Glentoran.

I believe it is a good appointment. Kernaghan is not someone who has worked in the Irish League scene before and will bring a freshness and something different to the role.

He has played at the highest club level in England and at international level for the Republic of Ireland so he comes with strong pedigree.

Being that bit detached from the Irish League and Glentoran in the past might prove a help rather than a hindrance. Also, I understand Alan lives in Bangor. It may sound like nothing but that can be positive too.

I know from my own experience when I played and then managed the Glens. I lived in the area and lived and breathed the club. Sometimes you can get too close and need to take a step back to make assessments.

My highs, such as winning games in Europe, beating Linfield and clinching the League Cup, were amazing but when things didn't go well I'll admit here that I felt the lowest of the low because Glentoran meant so much to me.

Coming into the job, Alan finds the Glens in sixth place in the league. I don't believe he has the quality of player that has been at The Oval in the past, but they are still good enough to stay in the top six. He will look to senior men like Elliott Morris, Marcus Kane, Stephen McAlorum, Curtis Allen and Ciaran Caldwell to lead the way in the months ahead.

And I would imagine he will bring in some players of his own in January. Given his career, he will have an impressive contacts list which can benefit the Glens if the money is there to sign the players he wants.

Ultimately, Alan, like all managers, will be judged on results and ultimately the aim will be to make Glentoran champions again.

I hope the fans show patience as he attempts to do that. This season, as long as they see a team giving total commitment to the shirt they love, trying to play football in an attractive manner and looking like they could be title contenders, I believe he will get the support he needs.

Belfast Telegraph


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