Kernaghan ‘here for the long haul’

New Rathfriland Rangers manager John Kernaghan says he will be looking to encorporate the area’s local players into the long-term future of his new club.

Kernaghan and new assistant manager Shane Reddish took over at the club following Brian Adair’s departure to Loughgall and Kernaghan now wants to concentrate on bringing through the club’s next generation.

“I’m privileged to be at the club and I want to bring a bit of stability,” he said.

“I’m here for the long haul. It’s a project for us. The committee are great and have given me their full backing.

“We’ll try and bring a few of the youth team players through. They are the long-term future of the club. We have a great youth set-up here and I’ll be going along to their games. Over the next two or three seasons, we want to bring the local youth players through. We’ll have the experienced players to bring them along as well.”

New assistant boss, Reddish, has an impressive footballing pedigree. He played over 400 times in England, including in front of 52,000 spectators in a play-off final at Wembley. He also led Ards to a fifth place finish in the Premier League after taking over the reigns in 2003. He then had a spell in charge of Loughgall. Kernaghan says having someone with that experience beside him is a huge boost for the club:

“It’s an exciting time for Rathfriland Rangers when we can attract somebody like Shane to the club. I’ve known him for a long time and he’s delighted to be involved at Rathfriland.”

Rathfriland have also been buoyed by the return of striker Ally Wilson, who twice broke their scoring record before joining Distillery in the summer.

Kernaghan is also planning some more additions to his squad over the coming weeks.

He said: “I’m very happy with what I’ve got in the squad but, like any new manager, I’ll be looking to bring two or three players in over the next week or two. I’m working behind the scenes to do that.”