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I'd love to take charge of Dungannon Swifts in the future, says Fitzpatrick

Terry Fitzpatrick savours League Cup success with wife Rosanne, daughter Scarlett and son Bill back in February.
Terry Fitzpatrick savours League Cup success with wife Rosanne, daughter Scarlett and son Bill back in February.

By Keith Bailie

Dungannon Swifts legend Terry Fitzpatrick admitted that he has ambitions to manage the Stangmore Park club one day.

And there was a fairytale ending to the veteran's 25-year playing career when scored an injury-time winner to secure a remarkable 4-3 victory over Ards at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

Fitzpatrick, now 36, joined the club's youth system at 11 before making his first-team debut five years later and, after signing off on Saturday, revealed his desire to move into coaching.

"I love this club, it means the world to me," he said.

"We're far from perfect. We have been too inconsistent in the league this season, but I honestly think Rodney McAree will improve that in time. His new contract is the best news this club has had in years.

"This club is like a second home to me and I hope to be involved with the club for years to come. I'm starting my coaching badges in May, so I'll see where that takes me.

"If I enjoy coaching, I would like to be the Dungannon manager one day. There's no point in taking your badges if you have no ambition.

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"I have that drive and that ambition to push myself further."

Michael McLellan volleyed Ards into the lead after just 75 seconds, only for Mark Patton to equalise just before half-time.

Jarlath O'Rourke put Dungannon on front at the start of the second half ahead of Adam Brown making it 2-2.

Jonny Frazer thought he had secured eighth place for Ards when he restored his side's advantage, but Dungannon refused to roll over.

Rhyss Campbell equalised in the 90th minute, before Paul McElroy was brought to ground inside the area by goalkeeper Sam Johnston - allowing Fitzpatrick to have the final say by netting from the penalty spot.

Ards boss Colin Nixon said: "I thought Sam won the ball cleanly, I really don't think that was a penalty, but we won't allow that to spoil our season.

"We've had a great year, and to finish ninth is a fair achievement for our club. We will try to build on this for next season."

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