Linfield FC is delighted to announce that the new coach of the Linfield Rangers squad will be the long serving and inspirational club captain, Jamie Mulgrew who will be ably assisted by one of his team mates, Conor Pepper.
The opportunities arose when the previous Rangers' coaches Michael Gault and Chris Kingsberry were promoted to take charge of the Swifts' squad after the recent decision of their coach David Dorrian to step down, following a 5-year spell in the role.
Confirming the appointment, Linfield manager David Healy
was delighted to give the opportunity and responsibility to the hugely popular Jamie Mulgrew who recently clocked up his 650th appearance in the Linfield first team.
"Jamie is the ideal man to take on this important role at this time. He knows this club inside out, having served the club as a player with huge distinction for 16 years or so.
He's a wonderful role model for so many young players aspiring to follow in his famous footsteps into our first team squad. He knows what it takes to be a Linfield player and he knows what it takes to be a Linfield winner.
This is the next step in what I'm sure will be a successful coaching career for Jamie and he will benefit enormously from the experience. It goes without saying that the players in the Rangers' squad will undoubtedly benefit from Jamie's vast experience.
He's a born and natural leader who's looking to the future beyond his playing career but he's still got a huge amount to offer our club in a playing capacity.
His prime focus will be on playing in and captaining our first team squad over the crucial second half of the season and for as long as he feels able.
Jamie and Conor will work closely with our backroom staff and coaches and the former Rangers’ coaches Michael Gault and Chris Kingsberry (now with the Swifts) will provide full support if and when required.
I know the news of this appointment will go down well with our supporters who will join with me in wishing Jamie and Conor every success in their additional new role of aiding and driving forward the development and progression of our up-and-coming talented under 18s players."
Accepting the new role, Jamie Mulgrew
explained how grateful he was for what he recognised was a wonderful opportunity.
"I'm very honoured and flattered that the manager and the club have shown this faith in Conor and I, by giving us this huge responsibility and challenge.
We've already started working with the young Rangers' players and we are looking forward to our first game which is next Friday against Newry City.
There are so many good young players in our underage squads and our role will be to try and get as many of them as possible into our first team squad or, as we have seen regularly in recent times, into openings into full time cross channel football.
Most people know that I've had my own coaching business with young children for several years, so this appointment is probably the next step into what I hope will one day be a progression into a full-time coaching role, once my playing career is over.
Rest assured, I'm fully committed to offering the club what I can as a player on the pitch, as I'm as hungry as ever to try and bring further success and silverware to the club.
I have to have one eye on the future, as I know I can't go on playing for ever and this opportunity at this time, to take a step onto the coaching ladder is just perfect for me.
I will be surrounded by good people who I trust and whose opinions I respect and value. I will have the support of the manager, his coaches and staff and of course, Michael Gault is a very good personal friend of mine and he's promised me his full backing in stepping in for me, if I'm unavailable due to first team responsibilities.
I know I will learn so much from this wonderful opportunity that I've been offered and I can assure everyone that I will give this role the same level of wholehearted commitment that I like to think I've provided throughout my playing career. It's been an absolute pleasure to represent our club on the pitch and similarly, it will be a real honour to represent the club in a coaching capacity.
Taking on the new role will certainly be a challenge but I'm really excited about the prospect of getting to work on the training pitch with so many promising young players."
Everyone at Linfield FC would like to take this opportunity to wish Jamie and Conor every success, as they now combine their existing playing roles with this added new responsibility of coaching the under 18s Rangers squad.