PREMIERSHIP: New team takes over at The Oval

Paul Leeman, Gary Smyth and Ronnie McFall at confirmation of Glentoran's management set-up for the new season.
Paul Leeman, Gary Smyth and Ronnie McFall at confirmation of Glentoran's management set-up for the new season.

After weeks of speculation Glentoran finally have a new management set-up, but it is perhaps not what many fans expected.

The news broke on Wednesday that Gary Smyth was set to take over at The Oval, with Paul Leeman joining him in the coaching structure.

The Glens legends are back at the club, but working under Ronnie McFall, who has decided to extend his stay with the club.

Smyth has agreed a three year deal to be joint assistant manager alongside Kieran Harding, while Leeman, who has also signed a three year contract, will take up a coaching role as well as working closely with the Under-20s and Academy.

McFall told the club website: “When the Chairman raised this possibility a couple of weeks ago to stay on to help stabilise the club I was only too happy to do so.

“As manager one of the big priorities is to provide the best possible grounding for Gary at Premiership level.

“He’s a Glenman through and through and he’s done the right thing getting a good base of experience before coming back to the club.”

Smyth, who made over 364 appearances for the Glens, told the Glentoran website he was delighted to be back at the club.

“I had five great years at the Welders and was very happy there but this is MY club and I had to accept the chance to contribute to a new, positive era here,” he said.

“This opportunity nearly came about two and a half years ago. It was the right job at the wrong time for me then but I’ve learned a lot with three more years experience as a manager and when the club approached me I knew it was time to come home.

“I’m very excited and I know it’s been a massive decision for me. After 13 years here, I know the club and what’s expected and I’m ready for the challenge.

“I know I’m coming in at a difficult time for the Glens but that’s part of the challenge.

“I’m looking forward to working with Ronnie to quickly start putting things right.”