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Ronnie Mc takes the Fall - Glentoran manager resigns following dismal run of form

Thu, Jan 03 2019

McFall won a league and cup title during his first stint in charge in the 80s but was unable to replicate it this time around. Credit: Glentoran FC

Ronnie McFall’s second stint as Glentoran manager has lasted just seven months after the legendary manager handed in his resignation.

The Portadown man considered his position to have become untenable following a ten-game winless streak that has seen the Glens plummet to ninth place in the league standings.

McFall admitted following Saturday’s 4-2 defeat to Dungannon Swifts, which left the Belfast club just five points above Newry City, that his side were in a relegation battle.

The club announced on Thursday that the manager had tendered his resignation and that first-team duties would be taken over by his assistant Gary Smyth.

Former Glentoran player Smyth had been brought back to the club from H&W Welders with a view to eventually succeeding McFall as manager and will now proceed ahead of schedule.

“Ronnie McFall has stepped down as manager of Glentoran with immediate effect,” read a statement issued by the club.

“Gary Smyth will take responsibility for first team matters as outlined in our long term strategy. Gary will be assisted by Paul Leeman.

“The Board of Directors would like to thank Ronnie for his hard work and complete commitment over the past 11 months and to wish he and his wife Anne all the very best for the future.

“Ronnie – as both player and manager – has played a very important role in the history of Glentoran Football Club. He and Anne will always be very welcome at the Oval.”

McFall began his managerial career with the Glens in 1979, first as a player-manager, and helped the club to a league title in 1981 and an Irish Cup in 1983 before being sacked the following year.

During a 30-year stint with hometown club Portadown, McFall won the club’s first-ever league title in 1989-90 and added three more in the following years, as well as three Irish Cups.

He retired in 2016, but was tempted back into the game by Glentoran in May and leaves the clubs five points clear of safety with 21 points from 22 games.