CLANN Eireann stalwart Mark Beattie has been confirmed as the player manager of the Shore Road club for the 2013 season.
The midfielder told the Mail he will be putting in place a long term strategy and will be in close liaison with the clubs reserve and minor managers.
Mark, who would be known as being a dedicated Clann Eireann man, certainly hasn’t shirked his responsibilities considering that his clubs senior team were relegated from the First Division at the end of last season. He said, “To be honest there weren’t too many people queuing up for the job. It will certainly be a challenge.”
The new boss is expected to be joined in his post by former Clann Eireann player Brian Towe and for an initial period by another former Shore road player Tony Gallery. Clann Eireann currently are in a healthy state at youth level and are expected to have several players competing on Armagh Minor squads in the near future.
Mark Beattie’s appointment would have to be seen as a major bonus for a club who would be keen to build on their success at underage level. He will bring drive and enthusiasm to the job, but the big midfielder does not intend to hang up his boots any time soon.
“Every player knows when the time is right to go. Personally I feel I can give it a couple of more years before solely concentrating on management,” added Mark. The new Clann’s supremo believes it is important reserve players get a fair crack of the whip in 2013. “I personally don’t think that reserve players were treated properly last season. Some of them left gaelic football due to the lack of matches. This is something that certainly should be looked at in the near future.”
Next season Clann Eireann will contest Division 2 derby games against Wolfe Tones, Clan Na Gael, St Peter’s and Portadown side Tir Na Nog and Beattie isn’t expecting his team to be world beaters overnight.
“We will probably look at it as a work in progress. The management team won’t be expecting miracles in the first year, but we can expect gradual improvement over a sustained period,” he concluded.