Kilbarrack move quickly to sign up boss McDonnell

by Dave Donnelly
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Kilbarrack United have moved quickly to appoint Chris McDonnell as manager following the resignation of Robbie Arnold last week.

LSL Sunday Senior 1B’s newest side were rocked when Arnold and co-manager Jonathan Maleady stepped down, citing time constraints.

And they’ve plumped for a familiar face in McDonnell, who spent time on the coaching staff at Kilbarrack before taking over at Raheny United 12 months ago.

The Dubliner, who is a member of Gerry Davis’ coaching staff with the amateur international squad, guided Raheny to a sixth-place finish in AUL Premier A last season.

The ambitious manager pushed for Raheny to replace Rivervalley Rangers at the top level of AUL football following the latter’s demotion on the eve of the season.

McDonnell exceeded expectations with a club looking to build from the ground up but had already decided a new challenge was needed, and Kilbarrack fit the bill.

“I had decided to step away from Raheny, and that set up a chance for me to meet Kilbarrack,” McDonnell told the Dublin Gazette.

“I met them [last] Thursday evening and they made a formal offer for me to step in.”

The forward-thinking club have thrived since opting to make the move from AUL to the Leinster Senior League 12 months ago, gaining promotion to intermediate level at the first attempt.

Arnold and Maleady also helped Kilbarrack to Polikoff Cup success – their first trophy in over a decade – but felt they couldn’t dedicate as much time to the management side again this year.

McDonnell has already been in touch with squad members from Kilbarrack – some of whom he knows from his time with the Irish amateur side – and will bring in some fresh faces.

“The facilities are their own in Kilbarrack, which was a huge draw for me in terms of the pitch and the clubhouse right beside it.

“The committee seem to have set a good base for themselves. That helped my decision to go in there.

“I can concentrate hugely on the football side of things, whereas I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into at the start of last season. This seems further down the line in terms of the project.”

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