Gary Smyth agrees three-year Glentoran deal
Harland and Wolff Welders boss Gary Smyth has agreed a three-year-deal to join Glentoran.
The Belfast Telegraph understands that the Welders were contacted by Glentoran FC this morning requesting permission to speak with their manager.
Smyth then handed in his resignation to the club this afternoon.
Smyth currently holds a UEFA B License, rather than the A License required of a manager in accordance with the Irish FA's Premiership license. It is thought that Smyth may become part of a managerial team at The Oval, alongside someone who holds the required A license.
Rumours have circulated that former Glens favourite Paul Leeman could be set to return to the side alongside Smyth, but he also lacks the Uefa A License required.
If Glentoran were to be awarded a UEFA License to participate in European competition, their manager would require a UEFA Pro License.
Former Glentoran player Smyth leaves the Welders with the club's best wishes after five seasons in charge. A club spokesperson said they were sad that he was leaving but that they always knew it was in his heart to one day coach at Glentoran.
It is expected that Glentoran will make a formal announcement tomorrow.
Former Rangers duo Nacho Novo and Bob Malcolm had been linked with the job as had ex Northern Ireland player Steve Lomas.
Smyth had been considered by the club during previous searches for a boss and held talks over the role back in 2015.
"Being manager of Glentoran is the right job for me, but it's the wrong time right now," he said back in 2015.
"If I was going to go there I would rather go fully qualified, be that with an A Licence or the Pro Licence and I hope to get that far in the next two to three years. If the job was to come up again in the future, I would also have more experience to take into it and be better equipped myself."
Smyth played for the Glens in three spells between 1988 and 2008, winning two Irish League titles and two Irish Cups at the Oval. He took charge of H&W Welders back in 2013 and this season guided the side to a third placed finish in the Bluefin Sport Championship.
Glentoran fans have been quick to react to the breaking news:
Yes— Adam Nixon (@GFC231882) May 23, 2018
Gary Smyth was an absolute hero as a player and cracking servant, as was Paul Leeman, It's important we give them out absolute backing from the start and when the going gets tough. Cause they're gonna need all the luck in the world and more.— . (@Ross__92) May 23, 2018
He’s Smyth, he’s Smyth, he’s Gary Gary Smyth 💚— Dale L (@DaleLock91) May 23, 2018
Belfast Telegraph Digital