Champions on manager hunt as Danny departs
NEWFOUNDWELL FC say they expect to announce a successor to first-team manager Danny Gartland later today (Tuesday) after he announced he is stepping down for family reasons and work commitments.
Gartland, who was a co-founder of the club in 2011, steered the first team from the bottom division of the old Meath & District League to the NEFL Premier title this year, winning the Tully Bookmakers Challenge Cup, Kilmessan Shield and various promotions along the way.
For the past two seasons he has managed the team with Paul Crowley and only two weeks ago they won the NEFL’s Joint Manager of the Year award, but the former Drogheda United captain recently left the club to concentrate on completing his A Licence coaching badge and ‘Well reserves boss Danny Doyle has also stepped down after leading his team to a League and Cup double.
The various departures are a huge blow to the NEFL champions, but Gartland, who himself enjoyed a distinguished playing career with Drogheda Town, felt this was the right time to take a break from the game.
He told the Drogheda Independent: ‘I was looking through the history of the club and what we have done while other clubs in the town have suffered.
‘I don’t know how many medals there’ve been, but I feel I’ve taken them as far as I can. Last season we went unbeaten [in the league] and you are not going to top that. People say ‘go on and win a [Leinster or FAI] Junior Cup’, but we aren’t going to do that.
‘I have three young kids and the missus and it’s time to be there for them. I’m not going to rule out being a manager again, but it won’t be for the next two or three years while I recharge the batteries.’
Gartland heaped special praise on the players who have been with him since the beginning.
‘John and Brian Kermode, Stephen Murphy and Dean Carolan have been there with me, they are real club men and they’ll still be there this year,’ he said.
Paying tribute to Gartland, club chairman Ray Reid commented: ‘Danny has done an awful lot of hard work behind the scenes for our club and was always there.
‘It’s been a very time-consuming thing for him. We train twice a week, there’s games on Saturdays and Sundays and there’s Leinster and FAI competitions where you could be away to Cork at 8 in the morning and not get back until 10pm.
‘He gave us seven years and put his heart and soul into it, and then when Paul [Crowley] came in he lifted it to a completely different level in terms of tactics.
‘But we hope to have something sorted out [by way of a replacement] by Tuesday.’