Warren Feeney Named New Manager of NIFL Premiership Side Glentoran FC
Warren Feeney is gearing up for a tilt at taking Northern Irish side Glentoran into the business end of the Europa Conference League next season.
The 42-year-old Football Careers client is relishing the challenge ahead of him in this homecoming adventure after quitting English sixth-tier side Welling United to accept his new role.
Feeney, capped 46 times for Northern Ireland in a playing career that spanned 21 years, replaces Rodney McAree who resigned last Sunday to spark a hectic week at Glens. Warren reflected:
“The fans and board here expect to be the best and that’s what I want to achieve. Europe is vital and planning for it for the next month will be our priority.
“Both from previous times managing in Europe before and from my time coaching in Bulgaria, I feel I have a clear understanding of how we need to approach these games and what we need to do to win them.”
It’s intriguing to ponder the respect those in the know in the game have for Feeney’s skillset. When former Sheffield Wednesday and Republic of Ireland midfielder John Sheridan was boss of Newport County in EFL Two, it was Warren he relied on as his right-hand man. And five years ago when Leeds United, Liverpool, and Australia legend Harry Kewell was in charge at Crawley Town in the same division, he also chose Feeney as his trusted lieutenant in the technical area.
Now Glentoran has recruited a highly rated coach who also had a fascinating spell in Bulgaria, where he led OFC Pirin Blagoevgrad to promotion two years ago. When the offer came, Warren had no doubts in his mind and he admitted:
“I jumped at this offer from Glentoran. Any time I’ve been home over the past couple of years I’ve been at the Oval to watch the Glens, including the European play-off last month. So I know the squad we have here and their potential for next season.
“I’m an East Belfast person who has a lot of Glenmen mates so I know what’s expected from one of the biggest clubs on the island.”
Warren’s playing career saw him go over the water to England to start in the Academy at Leeds United. He would go on to play for the likes of Bournemouth and Dundee United and has now spent nine years building his coaching career.
His previous experience of the NIFL Premiership with Ards and that transformative spell in Bulgaria before he returned to British football at Welling United convinced Glentoran Director of Football Paul Millar that Feeney was the preferred candidate. Millar pointed out:
“It is important for the progression of the club that the key criteria are met to help take the club in an increasingly professional, full-time and successful direction. Those criteria specifically demand experience of working and managing in a genuinely full-time environment and in Europe.
“When the board considered its options and the need to act decisively ahead of pre-season and our European games in less than a month, it was agreed that Warren Feeney’s ability and experience met our key criteria.”