Belfast Telegraph

Linfield coach Alfie Wylie axed as boss Healy begins overhaul

 

By Graham Luney

Linfield's long-serving senior coach Alfie Wylie is leaving the club.

Blues boss David Healy is making significant changes at Windsor to try and revive Linfield's fortunes and Wylie is in the firing line.

The former Glenavon and Newry Town manager is expected to continue his role as boss of the Northern Ireland women's team but his successful trophy-laden Linfield spell is over.

Healy has already confirmed several players - including Reece Glendinning, Louis Rooney and Achille Campion - are leaving but he is also making changes to his backroom team and Wylie's departure will bring an end to his 14-year association with the Blues.

Since joining the Windsor Park ranks in June 2004, Wylie has worked alongside managers David Jeffrey, Warren Feeney and Healy.

Wylie is a hugely respected coach in domestic football, and his job with the Northern Ireland women's side has also earned him considerable praise.

The 61-year-old was unavailable for comment last night.

It's a big call by Healy, who will need to bring in a new coach, while a question mark still hangs over goalkeeper Roy Carroll's future.

Carroll's season was disrupted by injury and he may decide to hang up the gloves and focus on coaching.

The former Manchester United stopper is assisting the Northern Ireland development training camp with Under-21 boss Ian Baraclough this weekend.

Elsewhere, David McAlinden has resigned as Carrick Rangers manager after failing to keep the club in the Premiership.

Carrick lost the promotion/relegation play-off 6-3 on aggregate to Newry City.

Champions Crusaders, meanwhile, have signed Ballymena United midfielder Gary Thompson on a three-year deal.

Thompson, who turns 28 later this month, has been released from his Sky Blues contract to allow him to join the Crues squad in preparation for the Champions League qualifiers.

Another player who the Crues have snapped up is former Ards left-back Michael Ruddy.

Ruddy, who turns 25 in August, says he's relishing the chance to lift silverware.

"I was at Crusaders as a kid before leaving for Ballymena and it's nice to come back," said Ruddy, who has agreed a two-year deal. "I don't want to clock up 500 appearances with nothing to show for it, I want to win trophies and hopefully I can do that with Crusaders."

Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley has agreed a one-year extension with the option of a second that will tie the former Glenavon man down to the club until 2020.

Bradley has made 79 appearances, bagging 30 goals.

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney said: "He is a great influence and his eagerness to return from a serious injury before schedule speaks volumes."

Warrenpoint Town have snapped up former Drogheda United and Shamrock Rovers ace Gavin Brennan. And Limavady United have appointed Sean Friars as first-team manager.

Belfast Telegraph

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