Belfast Telegraph

Meet the Northern Irishman taking up a senior management job at Manchester City

A Northern Irishman is set to join the management structure at Manchester City.

Neil Russell, from Comber, will join the Premier League giants in September after leaving his role as general manager of Elite Ice Hockey League franchise Manchester Storm.

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce that I will be moving on from my GM role with the Manchester Storm in 2 weeks’ time," said Russell in a statement on the Manchester Storm website. "I have been offered an incredible opportunity in a senior management role with Manchester City FC that I simply could not turn down.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me these past two years at the Storm, it has been the most incredible time in my life and filled me with so much pride to see what we have achieved as a club in such a short space of time.”

So who is he?

Neil Russell is 37 and took over at Manchester Storm in 2015. The club had been at the forefront of British ice-hockey in the 1990s but folded in 2002 and when an attempt to resurrect the franchise was made, the Comber man was targeted as the ideal GM.

He has been an avid Belfast Giants supporter since they were founded in 2000 and began to commentate on matches for Giants Live TV before presenting ice-hockey coverage for Premier Sports and Setanta from 2014.

Taking over his management role in Manchester just a year later, Russell led Storm to a ninth place finish in his first season before making the play-offs in their second campaign.

Russell also still plays NCU cricket for North Down and is a former captain of Instonians. He even led his old club to league glory in 2014. On joining Storm, Russell revealed his dream was to continue his sports management career by moving into a job with Ulster Rugby or, even more so, Cricket Ireland.

Perhaps even he didn't foresee his newest role at one of the world's leading football clubs.

“Firstly, what an incredible opportunity for Neil," said the Storm ownership group. "As an ownership group we would like to thank Neil for all of his hard work here these past two years with the Storm and we wish him all the very best in his exciting new role.”

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