Irish Premiership: McDermott replaces Smyth at Glentoran

Mick McDerrmott (left) worked as assistant coach of Iran at last year's World Cup
Mick McDerrmott (left) worked as assistant coach of Iran at last year's World Cup

Mick McDermott has taken over as Glentoran boss with Gary Smyth moving out of the manager role because of a lack of required coaching badges.

The east Belfast club had until Sunday to apply for a licence to play in Europe next season and Belfast native McDermott has the badges needed.

McDermott has spent the past two decades in a variety of club and international coaching roles abroad.

"We'll return the club to a trophy winning place," said the 45-year-old.

Smyth, who replaced Ronnie McFall as manager in January, is working towards his A licence but does not possess the qualifications required as Glentoran seek a return to European football.

The 49-year-old former Glens defender, along with Paul Leeman and Kieran Harding, will be part of the new management team.

McDermott was most recently assistant coach of Iran at the 2018 World Cup and and this year's Asian Cup.

Gary Smyth made 364 appearances for Glentoran
Smyth was appointed Glentoran manager following Ronnie McFall's resignation in January

He was offered the opportunity to join Carlos Queiroz, his manager at Iran, as assistant coach of Columbia for this year's Copa America in Brazil, but took the decision to remain with his family in Belfast and play his part in rebuilding Glentoran, who are seventh in the Premiership.

"This is a very exciting time for me and for Glentoran," he added.

"It has been widely reported that a substantial investor wishes to make a very major investment in the club and I'm delighted to be a part of that.

"I'm aware of the difficulties the Glens have faced in recent years but as a Belfast man I'm also aware of how big the club is and what it will mean to the supporters, volunteers and the east Belfast community when we see the club restored to where it should be and where it needs to be.

"I want to play a very full part in the community and work with the supporters and the investor wants to do the same if the proposal is secured."

Glens chairman Stephen Henderson said it is "part of our long-term plan to give Gary (Smyth) and Paul (Leeman) the breathing space to acquire the qualifications required.

He added: "However, the ambition of this club and the expectation of our shareholders and supporters can never fall below striving for European qualification each season."

Top Stories