Holland appointed new boss at Rangers as Lynn steps aside

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Amateur League, Division 1C: Newington Rangers have appointed Stephen Holland as their new manager after Geordie Lynn stepped down due to family commitments.

Holland is the Amateur League side’s third boss since Davy Rollo resigned at the end of last season. Jamie McGarel took over before being replaced by Lynn.

Holland was Lynn’s assistant-manager but now has the job to himself.

“The door is still open for Geordie at Newington. I know he’s got other commitments, but there’s the offer for him to do some coaching, even if he was just down once a week,” said Holland.

“It was Geordie who brought me to the club. He’s a good friend of mine. We’ve played football together for work teams. He’s well aware that I know the game and can play football. He recommended me as his replacement with the first-team.”

Holland initially came to prominence with the Northern Ireland Schoolboys’ team, as a product of St Andrews Boys’ Club. He also played in the Schools’ Cup Final for Boys’ Model and had a spell at Carrick Rangers in his teens.

Remaining on board is Lynn’s coach, Ernie Wilson, the one-time Linfield goalkeeping coach, who now doubles up as the Rangers assistant-manager. Joining the backroom team is assistant-coach Chris Wilson, Ernie’s son.

“Chris is part of our media team,” explained Holland. “He’s a knowledgeable young lad. He likes to debate things, and I’m going to make full use of the assets I have at my disposal.”

And what a baptism for the new boss, for while he was in temporary charge in the 4-4 draw at home to Division 1C strugglers Dromore Amateurs, Saturday sees the visit of unbeaten 1C leaders Colin Valley to the Knowe.

Holland said he is looking forward to taking over. “I’ve got the respect of the players, we get on well, and I’m confident we’ll do well for the rest of the season,” he added.

Lynn expressed his thanks to Newington stalwart Stephen McClean for the opportunity at the club.

“He gave me the chance to manage and to work with a great bunch of lads. I would like to thank my coaching staff and all the players. I wish them all the best for the future and hope they keep pushing on,” he said.

Newington also have a new skipper in Colin Gilmore and a new second-team manager in Trevor Dempsey, assisted by James Tennant.