Darren Murphy is Glentoran's new target for manager's job
Former Linfield star Darren Murphy is set for talks with Glentoran about the manager’s job at the Oval.
Murphy, currently an Irish FA Elite Performance Coach, left the hotseat at Dungannon Swifts in 2015 and is understood to be open to taking charge of an Irish League side again with board members of the east Belfast club keen to hear his vision for their club.
In polls conducted by Glentoran followers, there has been support for Murphy but the fans favourite for the role is ex-Rangers star Nacho Novo who outlined his desire for the post in the Belfast Telegraph earlier this week.
Novo, who played for the Glens last season, stated that he felt he could make the Oval outfit a force again adding that he would welcome the chance to have a meeting with the club’s hierarchy.
After previously being knocked back by Rodney McAree and Colin Nixon, who opted to sign new three year deals with Dungannon Swifts and Ards respectively, the Glens have been encouraged by interest from elsewhere and plan to make an announcement in the coming weeks.
During a difficult season in which Gary Haveron was sacked in February and chairman Stephen Henderson has faced mounting criticism, there is a feeling among directors that they must give the supporters something to shout about in the shape of an exciting appointment.
Following Haveron's dismissal, Ronnie McFall took over on an interim basis until the end of the season. Results initially improved but the Glens failed to make the top six in the league and their only chance of providing cheer in a dismal campaign is through the Euro play-offs.
Earlier this month, the Glens spoke with Dungannon boss McAree before he opted to stay put and then came a series of talks with Ards manager Nixon. Many felt that Nixon, a legend at The Oval and the club's record appearance holder, would jump at the chance to take over only for him to reject the opportunity, insisting he was disappointed with the process and never felt first choice.
Now the Glens will hold discussions with Murphy, who during his playing career was with Portadown, Glenavon, Dungannon, Ballymena United and most intriguing of all Linfield, where he enjoyed trophy success under David Jeffrey.
Murphy has three years' Irish League management experience from his time at Dungannon which would be a plus for the Glens board, though whether he would leave his IFA job for a spot already rebuffed by McAree and Nixon remains to be seen.
Along with Novo, another ex-Rangers player Bob Malcolm, ex-Glens and Northern Ireland striker Andy Smith plus Lisburn native and former coach of Rwanda and Sierra Leone Johnny McKinstry are also in the mix.