THE highly-experienced Peter Mahon will take over the Malahide United manager’s hot seat following the departure of John Gill who left for a role as Shamrock Rovers’ assistant manager last Friday.
For Mahon, it is a situation he did not anticipate after a glittering career that includes leading St Francis to the 1990 FAI Senior Cup final, a first for a non-league side. He also had a lengthy time in charge of UCD and, more recently, St Patrick’s Athletic.
Speaking to GazetteSport, it is a role that Mahon was initially reticent about taking on but is now looking forward to having worked as Gill’s assistant this term
“It was something that wasn’t planned; I can tell you that much,” he said. “I had no intention of getting back into management and I was quite happy working in the background at Malahide United.
“I have had 30-odd years in management so I thought it was the end of it but these were unique circumstances.”
It is the second successive season Malahide have needed to find a new manager midseason due to their boss picking up a League of Ireland appointment as Vinnie Perth departed for Dundalk last term.
Mahon admits he could have turned down the offer but believes it was only right to take on the manager’s role and attempt to lift the side from their current 10th position in LSL Sunday Senior.
“I think I owe something to the players and the committee not to walk out and to see it through. The most important thing is to improve our league form which has been very disappointing.
“There have been a number of factors. Not once have we been able to put out our first choice 11. A lot of the injuries have abated and we are getting back to something like what we would call a strong squad. Regardless of what happened in the past, we have to get back to winning matches and make sure we retain Senior status.”
He starts his tenure with two league games this week but there is also the FAI Intermediate Cup quarter-final on the horizon, something he cites as “a welcome bonus”.
“It is something we will try and win but we have probably the hardest draw in Avondale. But they have to be beaten sometime; why not by us?”
Whether another famous run to the Senior Cup final is on the cards, though, is scarcely even a pipe dream for Mahon.
“That’s not going to happen with a non-league team again. That’s for the fairies. It happened once and it was unique at the time. I’ve managed to win the inter cup again with Belgrove since then which was a monkey off my back. I’m just hoping we can win as many matches as possible with Malahide – the old cliches – and we will see where we end up.”