Ex-Northern Ireland international aims to 'galvanise' Irish League club after taking over as manager

Former Northern Ireland international Ivan Sproule believes the race for Championship survival will “go right down to the wire” and wants to play his part in helping Dergview avoid the drop after being appointed manager.
Dergview manager Ivan Sproule during his first spell in charge. PIC: INPHO/Philip MagowanDergview manager Ivan Sproule during his first spell in charge. PIC: INPHO/Philip Magowan
Dergview manager Ivan Sproule during his first spell in charge. PIC: INPHO/Philip Magowan

The 43-year-old is back at the helm for a second spell – he spent three years with his local side between 2018-2021 – following the departure of Emmet Friars last month.

Sproule, who played 11 times for Northern Ireland alongside representing the likes of Hibernian, Bristol City and Linfield, took temporary charge earlier this season after Tommy Canning’s exit and picked up seven points from four league matches while also bringing Glenavon to extra-time in the BetMcLean Cup.

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Dergview are currently occupying the second-tier’s relegation play-off spot, trailing 10th-placed Ards by four points and would take on the team that finishes second in the Premier Intermediate League over two legs to preserve their Championship status if things remain unchanged.

They face two away matches against Ballyclare Comrades and Ballinamallard United before rounding the campaign out with three consecutive home games versus H&W Welders, Knockbreda and Ards.

"The reason I have come back in is I know the club and I know the situation that they are facing," said Sproule. "To me it's about trying to keep Championship football in Castlederg.

"As much as I'm doing it for the club, it's for the future of young players. It would be a sin not to try and maintain this high level of football in this area.

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"I believe it'll go right down to the wire. It's been difficult for everyone but what we need to do now is stabilise things until the end of the season and make sure everyone gives their all.

"When the chips are down you have to help people. That's what I'm doing because there were people at this club who helped me through my career and I suppose I'll never turn my back on them."

Sproule has also called on the supporters to play their part in helping to inspire Dergview’s players over the final five matches and wants to “galvanise” the Darragh Park club.

"It's been a difficult season for everyone and people are frustrated with results and performances,” he added. “Not for a minute do I think it's down to a lack of effort by the players.

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"The players are going to need the support of everybody. You can feel frustrated by certain circumstances, so what do you do? Do you dust yourself down and get on with it or do you turn your back?

"Now is the time for the club to galvanise. It would be great for supporters to turn out in their numbers to try and get us over the line.

"It's going to take a group effort from the whole club and the supporters will have to play their part. They have always been fantastic during my tenure and we need them to put their shoulder to the wheel again."

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