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Stephen McDonnell takes charge at NIFL PREMIERSHIP SIDE GLENAVON

Stephen McDonnell is gearing up for an exciting challenge after being appointed manager of NIFL Premiership outfit Glenavon.

Before entering the world of coaching, McDonnell was a professional footballer who honed his skills in Celtic’s academy, represented the Republic of Ireland from U15 to U19 level, and played for the likes of Dundalk, Shelbourne, and Warrenpoint Town.

Following his retirement as a player, the 31-year-old Football Careers client returned to Warrenpoint Town in 2016 to take the reins as first-team coach.

In his first season, McDonnell helped guide the side to victory in the NIFL Championship and the Mid-Ulster Cup. In 2018, he was appointed first-team manager of the Northern Irish club and during his tenure, Warrenpoint Town reached the Irish Cup semi-final for the first time in its history.

McDonnell departed Warrenpoint Town in 2019. Since then, he has garnered experience at various clubs and organisations across Northern Ireland and Ireland, including the Irish Football Association and former club Dundalk, where he held the role of Academy Manager.

The UEFA A Licence holder’s new challenge will see him move on from his most recent position as U19 head coach at Dublin-based Shelbourne, whose first team competes in the League of Ireland Premier Division.

McDonnell has named Simon Kelly — who was part of Glenavon’s 2016 Irish Cup winning team — as his assistant manager. Commenting on McDonnell’s appointment, Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer said:

“Stephen comes as a young tracksuit manager whose training and coaching skills are widely recognised and who has an in-depth knowledge of football at senior and junior levels on both sides of the border. We are delighted to bring him to Glenavon.”

Glenavon — who currently sit in ninth position in the Irish Premiership table — will face third-place Larne at home on Saturday 30th September.

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