Belfast Telegraph

Former manager Gary Smyth's departure from Glentoran confirmed while Paul Leeman's future uncertain

Former Glentoran manager Gary Smyth (right) has left the club while the future of coach Paul Leeman is as yet unclear.
Former Glentoran manager Gary Smyth (right) has left the club while the future of coach Paul Leeman is as yet unclear.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Former manager Gary Smyth has left Glentoran, with coach Paul Leeman's future still uncertain.

Smyth still had two years to run on his Glentoran deal but the club has now announced that the two have parted company, with no mention of Leeman in the club statement.

"Assistant Manager Gary Smyth has parted company with Glentoran. The Board of Directors wish Gary the very best for his future both inside and outside the game," it read. "As a member of the 250 Club, Gary will always be very welcome at the Oval."

The 49-year-old rejoined the club last May alongside Leeman, initially as assistant to Ronnie McFall but Smyth was handed the reins in the new year after McFall's resignation.

The club legend was then stunned when he was told just days before the club's 2-1 defeat to Cliftonville on March 30 that it would be his final game in charge.

Since then, neither Smyth nor Leeman were involved in the running of the club while new boss Mick McDermott brought in Glenavon assistant Paul Millar.

Last week, McDermott said both Smyth and Leeman had been offered positions to stay at Glentoran and that the board were 'dealing' with their situation. He also confirmed that he will remain as manager, despite speculation to the contrary, and he will look to add to his coaching staff this summer to supplement Millar and Kieran Harding.

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On McDermott's appointment, club chairman Stephen Henderson had said that he hoped both Smyth and Leeman would remain part of the coaching set-up.

Smyth did not have the necessary coaching badges to manage the Glens in Europe whereas with McDermott starting his Pro Licence this month he will have the qualifications to do so.

However, the quest to secure European football this summer fell at the final hurdle with a 2-0 extra-time defeat at Cliftonville in the play-off final.

McDermott is also a key figure in the proposed takeover of the club from British-based entrepreneur Ali Shams Mohammad Pour, who hails from Iranian descent.

It promises to bring millions in investment on and off the pitch to the east Belfast outfit after the deal was be ratified by Glentoran shareholders at last week's EGM.

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