The club announced their new management team on Tuesday evening as ex Albert Foundry boss Colin McIlwaine took over the reigns, bringing with him a rather experienced number two.
His assistant is ex Distillery and Northern Ireland striker George O’Boyle, who will need no introduction to the club’s support.
McIlwaine was in charge at Foundry for five years and shepherded the Amateur League club to the Steel and Sons Cup final last season, beaten only on penalties by Championship One high-flyers H&W Welders.
“I am totally over the moon at the opportunity (Lisburn Distillery) will provide for us,” McIlwaine told David Hunter for the Lisburn Distillery club website. “I think it is the right time and the right move for us as a management team. We are looking forward to try to bring back the good times to Distillery Football Club. We will be 100% committed to making the club stable, getting results and putting a smile back on fans’ faces and hopefully then move onwards and upwards.
“I was with Albert Foundry for five years and I would like to thank them for everything that they have done for me but I also think it is the right time for a change there. We have ambition and George and I will be working in a partnership and we want to bring good times back to Distillery as quickly as possible.”
McIlwaine arrives at a club who have endured tough times in recent seasons. They have just been relegated to the third tier of NIFL football, the newly branded Premier Intermediate Division.
It’s all a far cry from the club that O’Boyle joined back in 1985. Back then, they were a top flight club, who even won the County Antrim Shield during his one season at the club.
“I am very excited and enthusiastic,” he told the club website. “We know it will be a task that we are really looking forward to, to try and get this club back to where everybody in Irish football knows it belongs. We have been given that challenge and can’t wait to get started.
“There are still a few familiar things and the memories came rolling back,” O’Boyle continued, standing in the middle of New Grosvenor. “I was an 18 year old who had a fond six or seven months here which I really enjoyed. It’s nice to be back, and now it is my turn to put something back into this club which gave me a start when I came back as a depressed young boy from Manchester City thinking my world had ended and that I would never play football again because I got released at 18.
“But I came back, had a good six months, went to Linfield and on to Bordeaux and Scotland. I have a lot of affection for this club and I am determined along with Colin to give things back and get us back to winning football matches.”
Also arriving at the club as part of the backroom team are Paul Mateer (Goalkeeping Coach) and Steven Parry (First Team Assistant).