Between the Stripes can today reveal that Longford Town FC under 19’s manager Mark Connors has officially stepped down from his position. While the news has yet to be officially announced by the club, the Dublin native has called time on his spell in the Midlands with no word as of yet as to why he will not be taking the reigns for the fast approaching 2016 season.
The timing of this decision could prove to be problematic for ”De Town” given pre-season preparations had already been disturbed by the recent weather conditions, although it is believed a new manager may already be in line to take the job, however that again is unconfirmed at present.
The departure of the popular 19’s boss know as ”Sparky” comes as a greater shock given the fact a number of his under 19 recruits were just last week awarded senior team contracts by Tony Cousins.
While results on the pitch have been far from dazzling, although they have improved in comparison to previous under 19 managers, Connors has long stated his preference for young players to rise to the top level over a results based approach to coaching.
Local lads Darragh Doherty, Daryl Carrigy and goalkeeper Dylan McGeoy are three players who have recently gained first team recognition in some shape or form and given the void of Longford based players over the last number of years, Connors will leave the club with a solid record of bringing locals through the ranks, something that has been a real challenge for the club given its reliance on a small local player pool and those who perhaps don’t make the grade elsewhere.
In his mid-twenties, Connors was the youngest manager operating at any level within the league by quite a distance, meaning it is unlikely we have seen the last of a man who has also been involved at international level, having coached on Paul Osams under 18 Irish staff.