After 10 years in charge of Ballinamallard United, Whitey Anderson has decided to step down as manager.
A former player with the club, Anderson made history by leading the first Co Fermanagh club into the Irish League Premiership in 2012.
His departure - confirmed by the club in a statement on Friday night - comes amidst uncertainty over the club’s top flight status.
The second leg of their promotion-relegation play-off against Institute was postponed by the Northern Ireland Football League following a challenge by Warrenpoint Town - who finished bottom of the table behind Ballinamallard - over an eligibility breach by Carrick Rangers.
Last night the IFA confirmed Carrick would have a charge to answer and that could result in Ballinamallard’s position being ‘safe’ in the Premiership.
Anderson said, in the club statement, that he had already made his decision to go at the end of this season.
“This has been a decision that was made some considerable time ago and although we met and discussed the possibility of me remaining as Manager my mind was made.
“It has been an incredible journey for the club over the last 40 years and I have had the pleasure of being First team manager for the last ten seasons.
“I have coached and managed every age group at the club and at all levels locally and throughout the country in the last 24 years.
“I am proud of what we all achieved as a club during that time and especially in the latter years which has seen Premier League football brought to not only this club but to the County for the first time ever.
“I believe it is the right time for not only Ballinamallard United F.C. and myself but in all honesty my family to arrive at this decision.
“In one respect there still from within lays a hunger to go again but on a personal level I have hit a brick wall, the batteries are low and it’s a preseason too far!
“I would like to say a general thanks to everyone for their support over the years in whatever capacity that may be and in that regard I won’t mention names so as not to offend.”
Ballinamallard United Chairman Jeff Aiken paid tribute to Whitey’s contribution to the club.
“Whitey has lived and breathed Ballinamallard United FC for the best part of three decades.
“Our success, not only in reaching the Premiership but in developing a strong human and physical infrastructure at the club, has much to do with Whitey’s dynamism and effort.
“Whitey will be forever remembered at this club as the man who brought senior football to County Fermanagh for the first time in 125 years of the Irish League.
“He will be difficult to replace but we have begun the process of finding a successor and are confident that the Head Coach at Ballinamallard will be an attractive post for an ambitious manager, with the appropriate qualification”.
Meanwhile, Portadown’s are to appear again before an IFA Disciplinary Committee in respect of player Peter McMahon.
It follows a hearing in April in relation to alleged player payment irregularities.
While two charges were proven and one unproven, McMahon’s case was referred to the IFA’s player registrations sub-committee for further investigation.
In a statement the IFA said: “ The registration committee has now reported back to the Disciplinary Committee and, following their comments, the Disciplinary Committee has asked Portadown to attend a further hearing.”
to deal with the issue.