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Feeney excited at Bulgarian move as he looks to put his stamp on side

Moving plans: Warren Feeney is off to Bulgaria
Moving plans: Warren Feeney is off to Bulgaria

By Paul Ferguson

Warren Feeney is determined to make a big impression on his first day with new club, OFC Pirin Blagoevgrad in Bulgaria.

Former Linfield chief Feeney shocked Championship midtable outfit Ards by resigning as manager last Thursday night after agreeing an 18 month deal to coach the ambitious Bulgarian second division side.

The 38 year-old will fly to Sofia this morning from London and hold a media conference this afternoon before taking a leading role in training this evening.

His first game will be a home clash with league leaders Septemvri Sofia on Saturday.

Feeney, who will work with a Bulgarian backroom staff initially, plans on giving his players a tough introduction to his training methods.

"We have a big squad and it is important to let them know during the first training session what I expect," conceded Feeney, who has managed Newport County in League Two.

"I've met the owners, they have put faith in me and I'm excited by the challenge. The chance to return to full-time football was too good to turn down."

Feeney will be in charge of two matches before the Bulgarian league takes a break until February 14 for winter.

The club are currently 10th in the Bulgaria second division, having won five, lost five and drawn four, but Feeney hopes his new players can make a push for the play-offs.

East Belfast native Feeney, who won 46 caps, scoring five goals for Northern Ireland, will assess his squad before making any changes in January, but he knows money is available.

"They have a decent youth system and obviously the likes of Dimitar Berbatov came through, but I will assess the players in the squad over the next two games and if I need to make changes in January, I will," stressed Feeney. "It's important to take these two games and then I will return to Northern Ireland during the break. That time will be crucial as I look at my support staff, form a plan for going forward and decide whether I need to bring in players from the UK."

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