Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran on rise and will be real force in 2020s, says Roy Coyle

 

Irish League legend Roy Coyle
Irish League legend Roy Coyle

By Graham Luney

Irish League legend Roy Coyle is confident Glentoran can keep moving in the right direction and challenge for the league championship this decade.

The Glens failed to win a title in the last 10 years, with their last success coming under the late Alan McDonald in 2009, but there is fresh optimism that a 24th title for the Oval club may soon appear on the horizon.

The Glens' bitter rivals Linfield won five championships in the last decade with Crusaders (three) and Cliftonville (two) flying the flag for north Belfast.

While the Glens have fading memories of then skipper Paul Leeman hoisting aloft the glittering prize in 2009, the fresh investment under new owner Ali Pour and a management team headed by Mick McDermott and Paul Millar are produing results.

Now 12 games unbeaten going into today's trip to Dungannon Swifts, the Glens sit only three points behind league leaders Cliftonville.

"The one thing you don't do in this game is get carried away or depressed too quickly," said Coyle whose career as the Irish League's most successful manager included 10 league titles with Linfield and three with the Glens.

"But certainly the new management team under the guidance of Mick McDermott has brought a feelgood factor back to the club, there's no question about that. Mick has the total respect of the players, he has made signings which have helped the team, though this game can turn on its head quickly with highs and lows.

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"But he has got himself in a favourable position and the league we are in is unpredictable. Mick has vast experience across the world, he knows the game and has brought his expertise to Glentoran. He knows what the job is about and the expectations of the fans.

"Fans became used to success, but Glentoran never really contested the league after it was won under the late Alan McDonald.

"But Mick has brought a smile back to faces and the belief is back, and that has to be encouraging to the club and the supporters. Not winning the title since 2009 is too long ago for Glentoran Football Club."

IRISH LEAGUE: Pages 44-45

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