Belfast Telegraph

Young boss McDonnell will not abandon Warrenpoint’s attacking philosophy

 

By Steven Beacom

New Warrenpoint Town manager Stephen McDonnell has insisted he plans to continue playing the attractive football the club has become renowned for ahead of his first match in charge against Ballymena United tomorrow.

McDonnell, who at 25 is one of the youngest managers in Europe, has been promoted from a first team coach capacity to the top job on an interim basis to the end of the season, with the aim of keeping Town in the Danske Bank Premiership.

It is a mighty challenge for one so young but he has overcome hurdles before, such as having to quit playing at the age of 22 due to a heart condition.

“I’m delighted to be the manager of Warrenpoint Town,” says McDonnell. “It’s probably come ahead of time but I believe in myself and am ready for the challenge and aim to bring something different to the club.

“I’m certainly attack minded. I’ve always been a firm believer in being proactive as a coach and playing a way that has other teams thinking ‘how are we going to deal with them?’

“We will continue to attack but there will be an element of dealing within transition in the game because I don’t want to leave us exposed. I want to have a structure in behind when we are attacking so that if we lose the ball we are not completely out of the game.

“We are only four points ahead of Carrick, which is two games of football, so we need to start getting performances and results which will keep us up.”

One key figure in that will be 18-year-old striker Lorcan Forde — a wonderful talent who has already trained with Burnley this season.

McDonnell says: “Lorcan is a super player and a super kid. I’m not even sure he is aware of his ability. He’s off the cuff and sometimes it’s as if he is playing with his mates. That’s the vibe I get from Lorcan and that’s great.”

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