Smith reunited with McConnell as part of Rangers backroom staff

Sammy Smith. INLT 01-310-PR
Sammy Smith. INLT 01-310-PR

Former Glenavon player Sammy Smith has again teamed up with ex-Larne boss Graham McConnell - this time as part of a three-man management team at Newington Rangers, alongside Gareth Hastings.

Former team-mates from their playing days at Inver Park, McConnell and Smith have both managed Newington separately in the past, and were together most recently at Larne until the autumn of 2013.

“Newington are my club, they were in a bad way last year,” said McConnell. “I just wanted to make sure the club are stabilised and run right. I don’t intend to be there forever on a management basis, although I’ll be staying on the committee.

“It was Newington who gave me my first chance at management and for that I’ll always be grateful.”

Smith, meanwhile, has been out of the game since leaving Larne along with McConnell. “I fell out of love with football after leaving Larne,” he said.

“It was as if football wasn’t for me anymore and I was better staying out of it.

“Too many players these days don’t want to train. They just want to turn up when it suits.

“Graham is the right man to get players in, but it’s getting harder and so many clubs are chasing the same ones!

“Division 1C could be wide open this year – but a lot depends on what players we attract.

“But I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully I’ve got my appetite back.”

Smith will have another string to his bow next season: he is taking Larne Youth Under-14s, along with Stevie Withers.