COLERAINE chairman Colin McKendry spoke to the club’s website team following the end of the 2018-19 season…
Colin began by heaping praise on volunteers who regularly give up their free time to aid in the day-to-day running of the Club, as well as the Club’s sponsors who continue to give generously throughout the season. He also thanked supporters who attended matches both home and away from Serbia to Connah’s Quay and beyond.
In addition to this, the Chairman shared his views on the Bannsiders’ 2018-19 campaign which disappointingly ended without European football, and addressed the situation to part ways with Rodney McAree.
He finished by giving supporters an update on the current managerial vacancy but ensures the current backroom staff are working tirelessly behind the scenes.
Volunteers, Sponsors and Supporters:
Our volunteers are absolutely fantastic and we simply couldn’t operate without them. Their continuous hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and we are extremely thankful for their contribution across the entire Club.
We are also fortunate to have excellent sponsors who give their backing to the Club for the right reasons and we are grateful to them. It’s fair to say we wouldn’t have the Club we have today without their help and support.
The supporters have been a rock this season and I think we had the third highest home attendance throughout the 2018-19 campaign which tells you everything about the growth of our Club. Their expectations were obviously not met this season which is disappointing, but we have been on a fantastic journey in the last few years and we want that to continue. The Board of Directors would like to thank our fans for everything that they do from travelling to away games, to buying merchandise and attending club events. We certainly don’t take them for granted.
Thoughts on the Season:
Our performances and achievements in the last two years meant we set the bar high in terms of what we wanted to achieve this season and unfortunately that wasn’t met.
A lot of contributing factors both on and off the pitch were the reason why we finished sixth in the table such as long-term injuries and questionable refereeing decisions, amongst others.
Our target was to challenge at the top end of the table and qualify for Europe, for us not to do so was disappointing. Every club in the league wants to be Champions, but the money for European football is a trophy in itself and to not achieve that this season was frustrating.
Football is a results driven business and we felt the club needed to go in a different direction.
The high standards that had been set both on and off the pitch in previous years were not being met and this led to parting of the ways with Rodney at the end of last season.
Everyone involved with Coleraine Football Club wishes Rodney the very best for the future.
The search for a new manager:
We have issued an expression of interest and several of the applicants so far are phenomenal and have managed at a higher level than the Irish League.
Coleraine is an attractive club, with a superb fan base and has potential to grow even further, but it’s about turning that potential into reality.
We are looking for a manager with previous experience of dealing with our expectations, a proven track record and having a comprehensive knowledge of the NIFL Premiership.
I think that we need adapt a new level of professionalism and realise that training solely on a Tuesday and Thursday is not enough. The other top clubs in the league are training three or four times a week and we need to address our current situation.
There is strong speculation regarding Oran Kearney but no contact has been made with him or St Mirren. As it stands, Oran is not an applicant and won’t be as he has more pressing issues on his mind in terms of keeping the Buddies in the top level of Scottish football.
How things currently stand:
I would like to assure supporters that we have not stopped because a first-team manager has yet to be appointed.
We have three personnel in the backroom staff who have been involved with football for a long time and they are reassessing the squad and speaking to potential transfer targets.
William Murphy is dealing with pre-season in terms of training and fixtures, as well as arranging recuperation sessions with Alan Millar so that the injured players are fit and raring to go for next season.
He is also working closely with Chris Gregg in relation to diet so that the players return with a new hunger and desire to compete at the top end of the table as that’s where we belong.