The announcement of a new manager could have been timed better, but it still failed to cast a shadow on David Jeffrey’s departure from Linfield after a rollercoaster 17 years.
Jeffrey’s seat in the Mourneview Park dug-out was still warm when the Linfield website confirmed the Irish League’s worst kept secret – Warren Fenney was the new man in charge.
He was still on the pitch taking the plaudits from both sets of supporters when Feeney was suddenly the talk of the place.
Linfield pride themselves on their professional approach and rightly so, because they set the bar for other clubs to follow.
Sadly, the timing of the Feeney release left a lot to be desired.
Jeffrey, who paraded 31 trophies in his time at Windsor Park, insisted the time is right for a new man to come in, stating: “I’ve known that for some time. I want to wish Warren every success.
“My time has come to an end. This chapter is closed – it’s over to you Warren.”
The big man added it will take a bit of time to adapt to life away from Windsor Park.
“I’ve a life time of memories. One of the things I’ll miss dearly is the camaraderie I had with my backroom staff., particularly big Gary Eccles,” he said.
“The evenings we enjoyed in the boot room down the years were fantastic. Holding a post mortem after games.
“This week that part of the ground is coming down due to the redevelopment of the stadium, but we have had some great memories and laughs. They were fantastic times. I will miss them immensely.
“We’ve had joy, happiness, laughs and tears in the boot room. It was a special place.”
Jeffrey enjoyed some memorable occasions, but when pushed, he opted for the ‘Clean Sweep’ season as his hightlight.
“I reckon the 2005-06 was the pinnacle with the clean sweep. It was a side that was several years in the making,” he added
“The Setanta Cup win against Pat Fenlon’s Shelbourne in Dublin is also up there.We went into that game with the heartbreak of losing the Premier League title in what what has been dubbed ‘Morday Day’. Our former striker scored the winner against us at the Oval which won the league for Glentoran.
“We were also knocked out of the Irish Cup by Cliftonville at the semi final stage, so we were so close to yet another double triumph.
“It meant that no-one gave us a chance in the Setanta Cup final against a club that had 26 full-time professional on their books. But we went down there with a great mental attitude and we finished up 2-0 winners. That group of players had such a great desire, they were winners.”