Belfast Telegraph

Paul Millar makes shock return to Glentoran to work with new manager Mick McDermott

Paul Millar.
Paul Millar.

Former Glentoran manager Paul Millar has made a shock return to The Oval to form part of new boss Mick McDermott's coaching ticket.

The ex Newry chief has been working as Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton's number two since 2012 but will now move back to the Glens, who he led for 16 months in 2006 and 2007.

Millar is a close friend of former Iran assistant manager McDermott's and will be in the dug-out for Saturday's game at Dungannon Swifts, although it is as yet unclear which role he will be taking up with current coaches Gary Smyth, Paul Leeman and Kieran Harding still at the club.

“At the minute, I’m not going in as assistant manager, first-team coach or any other specific role, instead it’s about offering help in whatever way I can," Millar told the News Letter.

 “This week alone I’m watching Glentoran’s under 20s, going to first-team training and preparing a scouting report for the weekend game with Dungannon Swifts."

Millar brings over 30 years of working in the Irish League in McDermott's backroom team as the boss comes in having lived abroad since moving to America in 1992.

However, his decision to leave Glenavon, who he joined seven years ago shortly after Gary Hamilton's appointment as manager, was not an easy one.

Millar says he has made 'lifelong' friends at the Lurgan club and takes pride in helping the club on the journey from relegation battlers to two Irish Cup victories and regular European qualification.

It's another blow to Hamilton's backroom team, having also lost coach Kris Lindsay, who moved on to become Dungannon Swifts manager earlier this season.

“There is no good time to go but the European deadlines dictated Glentoran move to appoint Mick and I take some comfort from leaving Glenavon with the club in the middle of a good run of results and before the start of the post-split run of games," Millar continued.

“Initially at Glentoran it is simply a case of helping out Mick as someone I’ve known and respected for so long.”

The aim of the sudden managerial change at Glentoran is to secure European football by way of the Europa League play-offs. The Glens currently sit seventh in the table, in line for a play-off spot, but required a boss who met the licensing criteria, which previous boss Smyth did not.

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