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Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin just can’t wait for kick off

They say a week's a long time in football, but does five weeks really pass as a proper close-season break?

While returning to work so soon might be cause for some to grumble, Cliftonville boss Tommy Breslin is excited by the prospect of getting back down to business.

As exclusively revealed in the Belfast Telegraph, the 49-year-old was appointed as the Reds' new manager yesterday morning and explained that he's looking forward to the new campaign getting underway.

“We'll be back in training on the fourth of June,” he said.

“That's only a five-week break but, when you qualify for Europe, you find that your summers get shorter and shorter.

“That's not to say we're complaining or anything, far from it. Plenty of players and managers go an entire career without even getting close to competing in Europe and it's fantastic for Cliftonville to be involved at that level again.

“It's a privilege to represent this club on such a big stage and that's something I'll be drilling into the players when they return for pre-season training.

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“The fact that, after being forced to use Windsor and Mourneview in previous years, this summer will see Solitude host a European fixture for the first time in 10 years will make the occasion all the more special for everyone.”

Breslin first stepped through the doors at Solitude in 1983, progressing through the ranks to make his mark on the first team alongside fellow starlets Jim McFadden and Peter Murray in a midfield trio known affectionately by the club's fans as the Holy Trinity.

He scored 16 goals in 279 appearances and, after his final game in April 1993, returned to a senior role when he was appointed as Eddie Patterson's assistant in 2005 before assuming the managerial reins on a temporary basis following Patterson's dismissal last month.

He has already overseen the arrival of Amateur League hotshot Joe Gormley from Crumlin Star as well as ex-Crusaders winger Martin Donnelly and expects to make further additions in the coming weeks.

“We have held talks with a number of players with a view to making new signings but obviously that will have to be balanced with some current names leaving the club,” he added.


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