McConnell takes over at Newington Rangers

GRAHAM McCONNELL has made a surprise return to local footballing circles, as the newly-appointed manager of local Division 1C side Newington Rangers, writes Alan Hall.

The Larne man, who managed Drumaness Mills in Division 1A during the last campaign, said: “I’ve never really been away from football. I only resigned at Drumaness Mills at the end of the season. I had finished the previous season at Drumaness, alongside Sammy Smith – and then when Sammy took over at Newington, I was there during pre-season, giving him a hand. Then the Drumaness job came up again, and I was there for the rest of the season.”

But wasn’t Graham quoted as saying he was leaving Drumaness to manage or coach at a higher level?

“Sometimes in football you don’t always get what you want, when you want,” the ex-Larne boss quipped. “I thought there might have been a couple of vacancies over the summer, but there weren’t.

“In my experience, if you sit and wait you could be there waiting for two or three years and you’re soon forgotten about. Ideally, I’d have gone to a Championship club, but I’d rather be involved at some capacity than sitting twiddling my thumbs.

“And where better to go than Newington? It’s a lot closer to Larne than Drumaness – and local players that I know, are more likely to come with me to Magheramorne than Drumaness.”

Full report in this week’s Larne Times