Home Employment The Cliftonville course will be demanding but an exhilarating challenge, says club...

The Cliftonville course will be demanding but an exhilarating challenge, says club legend Marty Tabb

The Cliftonville course will be demanding but an exhilarating challenge, says club legend Marty Tabb

The north Belfast side are looking for a new full-time manager as part of a new hybrid model – with some of their players also going full-time – and have appointed Declan O’Hara as interim boss.

Paddy McLaughlin stepped down as manager on Monday evening and is expected to be appointed assistant to Ruaidhri Higgins at Derry City.

As former Reds defender O’Hara takes the wheel ahead of the last two Premiership games and the Play-Offs for a European spot, the hunt for a new long-term full-time boss is on.

Tabb made 396 appearances for Cliftonville before being appointed manager in the summer of 2002.

He took charge of 90 games in two seasons and led the Reds to a first League Cup success in the 2003 final against Larne at Windsor Park.

The former Coleraine defender says the Solitude post is an exciting challenge for any aspiring manager.

“Paddy was perfect for the club and he will be hard to follow,” Tabb argued.

“The club does not have to make a hasty decision.

“A lot of guys will be excited about the job because it’s an exciting challenge at a big club with fantastic support, very knowledgeable and understanding.

“The fans want to see a good style of football and a competitive team.

“They fell at the last hurdle in last season’s title race, but it’s hard to compete.

“If you don’t have the most financial resources, the challenge is huge.

“That’s what football is all about. The club had a golden age with Marty (Quinn) and Tommy (Breslin), managers who got the best out of the players. They certainly compete in a tough competition.

“I never put (Crusaders boss) Stephen Baxter as managerial material and now he is the longest serving manager in world football. Big credit to them for his long service and success.

Tabb was delighted to see his old club Larne win a first ever Premiership title. The former Donegal Celtic boss had a short spell as caretaker manager of the Invermen.

“Lately, European money has come in and helped raise standards,” he added. “Loneliness was a swamp on one side and Sahara on the other, you had to adapt to every part of the pitch, but now the new surface makes life easier for the players.

“I was with Larne for a while and they have struggled. They are a great football city and it is good to see a new team win the league. The money has gone to the stadium and the academy which is great to see and it gives the club and the city a lift.”

On O’Hara’s new role, the club stated: “Cliftonville Football Club can confirm that Declan O’Hara has been appointed as interim manager.

“Declan has already taken over responsibilities with the first training session held yesterday following the departure of Paddy McLaughlin. All at Solitude will give Declan our full support in his new role.

“The club is now in the process of appointing a permanent, full-time manager.

“Cliftonville FC had already started the transition to a new model with our ambition to implement a hybrid system that will balance the needs of full-time football players alongside those pursuing other careers besides football.

“It is our intention that the new manager will be central to that process, along with a strategic overview of all football at the club.

“As this process continues, we know that supporters will give Declan and the team their full support.”

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