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It's decision day in Glentoran's bid to bring club legend Nixon in as manager

 

By Steven Beacom

Colin Nixon will decide today whether he wants to become Glentoran's new manager with the east Belfast club expected to offer him the job.

Nixon has always wanted to manage the east Belfast club and now it seems he is going to be given the opportunity to do just that.

It is understood that the Glens met the 39-year-old on Sunday after being given permission by his current club Ards to speak to him about taking over the reins at the east Belfast club.

At the moment the legendary Ronnie McFall is in charge but he has been adamant from taking on the interim role, following Gary Haveron's sacking in February, that it would only be until the end of the season.

When Haveron left, the Glens drew up a shortlist of candidates with Colin Nixon, Rodney McAree and Matthew Tipton to the fore.

Tipton was in the Warrenpoint Town hotseat at the time. Championship outfit Portadown moved quickly to appoint him, openly stating they did so because of potential interest from Glentoran.

Earlier this month, Dungannon Swifts boss McAree emerged as first choice for The Oval board. Talks took place between the parties last week only for McAree to announce on Saturday that he was sticking with the Swifts and had signed a new three-year deal at Stangmore Park.

The drama continued with the Glens making their move for former skipper Nixon at the weekend.

Glentoran chairman Stephen Henderson has held preliminary discussions with Nixon, the club's record appearance holder. The contract offer is expected to follow today with Nixon set for the biggest decision of his career.

Knowing his attention to detail, Nixon won't just be keen to see the terms on his own deal but also what future plans the club have after a turbulent few years when managers have come and gone quicker than buses up the Newtownards Road.

Of course the job appeals to Nixon - Glentoran after all will forever be seen as his club given he was there for almost 20 years, winning 22 trophies as a goalscoring defender - but he won't take the role at any cost despite his deep bond with the Mersey Street men.

Ards have offered Nixon a new two-year contract and are desperate for him to stay. You can see why. He has turned them into a stable Irish Premiership side and this season earned historic victories not just at The Oval, but against Linfield at Windsor Park.

There are some who feel Nixon should have been offered the job when Haveron landed it in 2016. Others will tell you once Haveron left this year, Nixon should have been approached that evening. Then there are fans fearful of one of their favourite sons blighting his copybook as boss of the club, believing it is too early for the man they call 'Nicky'.

This is Glentoran, where opinions can vary widely. What is certain is that Nixon knows the club inside out, is aware of the demands and if a deal isn't done to bring him home, serious questions will be asked of the board.

Haveron certainly did that on his exit, insisting that an obsession with a potential government-funded project to transform the Oval was holding Glentoran back.

He told the Sunday Life: "I felt there was a lack of vision. You cannot have a strategy that works around the redevelopment of The Oval that may be three, four, five or six years away or may not happen at all. That's a pipe dream. To me the board are trapped and are finding it hard to move the club forward."

They can help move it forward by appointing the right man for what remains a big job in Irish League football.

Belfast Telegraph

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