Carmichael: Donald should bring stability Wellington want

Stephen Donald.
Stephen Donald.

Wellington Rec are delighted with the appointment of Stephen Donald as their new manager.

As exclusively revealed on the Times’ website, Donald’s eight-year reign at Islandmagee, which included the Division 1A title and the Clarence Cup win in 2008, came to an end last week after he agreed to take the hot-seat at Brookvale Park.

Jeff Carmichael

Jeff Carmichael

Rec’s chairman, Jeff Carmichael (inset), said: “Things had been starting to drift a bit. We’ve had a few managers over recent years but they either didn’t really work out, or didn’t stay.

“We had tried going down the road with outsiders, bringing in fresh players, but now we wanted someone local. Stephen is from Carrick, but it’s not that much further for him, up over the Snowy Glen and he can be here in no time.

“He knows the local footballing scene. He has been at Barn and then with Islandmagee. And he’s not someone that just jumps from club to club; he had been at the Island for eight years, but thought he needed a fresh challenge. I think we can provide that challenge. He should bring the stability we want.

“When you look at some of our results last season, you’d know we need some players in, and he’s bringing some with him. Some had been playing in the Premier Division and will surely be a real force in Division 1B next season.

“We’ve also a lot of good young players at Wellington – and they can only improve with an experienced manager and more experienced players around them.

“Hopefully, too, we can continue to attract good, young players; we’ve good facilities at Wellington, with a floodlit training area beside the pitch!”

The new Wellington manager met some of the players on Saturday afternoon at the testimonial match for one of the Rec stalwarts, Ellis Cahoon.

Carmichael himself is a former Wellington manager and since he resigned there have been a succession of managers / coaches, including: Jim Hagan, Neil Candlish, Tommy Leeman, Ciaran Kelly, Kenny Thompson, Sammy Workman, Colin O’Neill, Graham McConnell, Aaron Boyd and Gary Morrow.