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I did not leave Antrim for Bryansford: Dawson

By Declan Bogue

Former Antrim manager Frank Dawson has refuted claims that his departure from the Saffrons hot seat was instigated after an approach by a Down club.

Dawson has now been appointed manager of Bryansford, in a realm where he has enjoyed considerable success in the last two decades as manager of Longstone, Clonduff, and latterly, Burren who he took to an Ulster club final in 2011.

"I want to draw a line under that decision to leave Antrim," said Dawson.

"My resignation was for reasons related to a different vision of where, and how, I saw Antrim being able to realise its potential. There has been a lot of wild and ill-informed speculation regarding my departure from Antrim.

"There was no job waiting for me.

"There was no prior discussion with any county or club as to any new job."

"But when Bryansford contacted me after my resignation I had absolutely no hesitation in agreeing to talk.

"Everything that has happened since then has convinced me that this is the club that has the right fit for me.

"It is ambitious. It has a football DNA that has continually developed players of great talent.

"The challenge for all of us at Bryansford, on and off the pitch, is to translate that talent into sustained results."

As someone who has spent most of his coaching career elevating the expectations of Down clubs, Dawson represents a sound choice for the Newcastle-based club.

He added: "There is something very special about Bryansford.

"It is a well worn-cliché in football to describe certain clubs as being sleeping giants.

"But in the case of the 'Ford the description is one that is really appropriate. My job, along with the rest of the backroom staff, is to ensure that that image is changed as soon as possible."

Club chairman Ronan McVeigh hailed the appointment as, "the most significant development in the history of Bryansford in recent years".

"The entire club is behind the move to give Frank control of the development of a comprehensive football strategy.

"Under the new management structure, headed by Frank, the objective will be to bring Bryansford back to the top table of both Down and Ulster football."

Belfast Telegraph


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