Glentoran may face an uncertain managerial future but Ards chairman Brian Adams is backing his club to continue moving forward following confirmation Colin Nixon has signed a three-year deal.
The Glens have now missed out on another high-profile candidate to replace sacked Gary Haveron as a result of Nixon’s decision to stay at Ards - with Rodney McAree last week opting to remain with Dungannon Swifts.
Matthew Tipton was also previously linked with the post before joining Portadown.
It is understood that Nixon rejected two official offers from Glentoran this week following permission by Ards to allow the former Oval captain to hold talks over a switch.
Speculation late last night of continued appeals by Glentoran towards Nixon in the aftermath of Ards releasing a statement confirming his commitment sparked debate but Ards’ Adams remained resolute and ignored the sideshow in the knowledge he had wrapped up a deal.
“We knew we had Colin on a signed contract but, to be honest, once he gave me his word earlier in the day that was good enough for us all to relax,” said Adams. “We have a strong relationship and I took comfort in the fact that Colin had worked so hard since his arrival at Ards towards sharing the long-term vision we all hold.
“He is keen to continue the youth development work and has already introduced quite a number of players into the firsts, as evidence of that pathway at Ards.”
Glentoran must now turn the focus to fresh targets after missing out on Nixon, who holds the club record for most appearances at The Oval.
“Out of respect we gave Colin time to talk to Glentoran and think about his future but he told me on Wednesday he was staying and we signed the deal in the afternoon,” said Adams. “We have extended the original one-year offer by two seasons to tie Colin to Ards until 2021.
“I was aware of the rumours but now just want to concentrate on Colin and the club moving forward together towards building on his good work to date.
“It has been a disruptive period but we have a double-figure tally of players already signed up for the future and that stands as testament to Colin’s ambitions.”