Belfast Telegraph

Warrenpoint 'part ways' with manager Stephen McDonnell after poor start to season

Stephen McDonnell
Stephen McDonnell

Less than seven months after leading his side in an Irish Cup semi-final, Stephen McDonnell's reign as Warrenpoint Town manager is over.

The club have lost 12 of their 15 games in all competitions this season, with two of their three victories coming in the Mid-Ulster Cup.

The other, a 4-3 league success over Dungannon Swifts at the start of October, has been followed by three successive Premiership defeats, a run that culminated in Tuesday's 7-0 defeat at Linfield and led to McDonnell's departure a day later.

“It has been a disappointing start to this year's campaign," read a statement from director Connaire McGreevy.

“However, I want to place my thanks to Stevie for his time here at Warrenpoint. During that time we had a successful Premiership season last year and an Irish Cup semi-final.

“I hold Stevie as a friend inside outside of football and know he has a long future ahead of him.

“However, at this time the board of Warrenpoint feel that we need to make a change to get us back competing in the league. We will make an interim appointment shortly and at the same time we are opening up the position to applicants."

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The 27-year-old took charge in February 2018 and led his team to a 3-1 win at Ballymena United in his first game in charge. Further successes over Dungannon and Glentoran led to his short-team deal being made permanent and last season the club finished in 12 points clear of the relegation play-off place while reaching the final four of the Irish Cup.

Warrenpoint are currently two points adrift of Institute at the foot of the Danske Bank Premiership table and six behind Carrick Rangers, who they travel to on Saturday.

McDonnell was forced to retire from his playing career aged just 22 for health reasons.

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