PETER Allen has sensationally resigned as manager at Newbuildings United, the former boss having informed club officials last Wednesday.
And the newswill come as a major shock to many, particularly as the team prepares for an Intermediate League derby fixture against Oxford United Stars this weekend at Swilly Stadium.
Coming down from the high of last weekend’s 7-0 victory over Roe Rovers in the Challenge Cup, Allen had been delighted with his team’s progress but it obviously wasn’t enough to convince him to continue the fight for this season’s Intermediate League title.
In fact, the motive behind his decision to step down after such a short tenure remains unknown.
Taking over following the shock departure of his predecessor, Gary Simpson, Allen got off to a promising start before United’s form faded last month. However, over the past two weeks the team experienced a revival but there had been no shortage of rumours of apparent bust-ups among the club’s hierarchy following Simpson’s controversial exit.
“Peter is a natural leader and a dedicated coach” commented one club official when quizzed on Allen’s departure.
“He put everything into the club and developed a great relationship with his players and all the lads in the team are disappointed that he’s gone.
“However, we need to look forward as a club; no one man is bigger than Newbuildings and we need to push on with our season,” he added.
“Peter can’t be replaced, but I have every confidence that the club will bring in the right man to take us to the next level.”
Meanwhile, the focus now is on Allen’s replacement and some club members are calling for Gary Simpson to be persuaded into making a surprise return.
Others have suggested that current Reserve team manager, Glenn Wallace, is also tipped as a possible contender while the recently retired club captain, Peter Blair, may also be keen to throw his hat into the ring.
In addition, Newbuildings Secretary, Wayne Glenn, possesses previous managerial experience and some suggest he may be interested in returning to a coaching role.
PREPARATION FOR LOCAL
DERBY NOT HELPED
While it’s possible that a new boss will be appointed before tomorrow afternoon’s game in the Templemore Sports Complex, it’s expected that a caretaker boss may take over until an official appointment is made.
But it goes without staying that Allen’s shock resignational has not helped the club’s preparations for their N. Ireland Intermediate League clash with local rivals, Oxford United Stars tomorrow in what’s expected to be a crucial fixture for both sides.
Newbuildings have bounced back from an injury crisis after after a difficult few weeks, wins over Ardstraw in the league, and a 7-0 thrashing of Roe Rovers in the Challenge Cup last week, steering the “Villagers” back on track. Indeed, tomorrow’s league game will closely contested as both sides hope to keep their Intermediate title aspirations alive.
The previous outing between the teams took place just under a month ago, and ended in a surprise 2-0 victory for Oxford.
And the home side also have enjoyed a significant boost in form having hammered Omagh side, Mountjoy, last weekend in their Challenge Cup clash.
There’s no doubt that high-flying Oxford will hope to take full advantage of playing on home soil and stake a signifiant claim for title honours with a victory.