McDonnell Poised For Newry Return

  • Tue, Sep 22, 2009 @ 22:34

Former St Patrick's Athletic boss Johnny McDonnell is set to return for a second stint as manager at Newry City.

The 44-year-old was player-manager at the Showgrounds during the 1998-99 season, when Newry reached the second round of the Intertoto Cup.

McDonnell won two League of Ireland titles as a defender with St Pat's and managed the club from 2004 until his departure in January.

The Dubliner will succeed Gerry Flynn, who resigned last week.

McDonnell's first managerial post was with Newry and his side defeated Croatian side Hrvatski Dragovoljac 2-1 on aggregate in the opening round of the Intertoto Cup.

He resigned in September 1999 and went on to manage Dublin City before becoming assistant boss with Shelbourne.

McDonnell was also assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland U20 team at the 2003 Fifa World Youth Championship.

He took St Pat's to the FAI Cup final in 2006, where they lost 4-3 to Derry City.

The Saints progressed to the first round of the Uefa Cup last season, defeating JFK Olimps Riga and IF Elfsborg in the qualifiers.

However, the Richmond Park side failed to win the Premier Division title during McDonnell's reign despite having one of the league's largest budgets.

A financial crisis led to the club moving from a professional to part-time set-up and McDonnell cited this as the reason behind his decision to quit earlier this year.

McDonnell's appointment is expected to be confirmed on Tuesday evening.

His opening game in charge would be against Carling Premiership champions Glentoran at the Showgrounds on Saturday.

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