Linfield chairman Roy McGivern says he is delighted to be able to confirm that the club have appointed former midfielder Pat Fenlon as its first general manager.
Ex-Hibernian boss Fenlon, who was at the club for a successful stint for two years in the mid-90s, will take up the role before December.
And Blues supremo McGivern says he sees bringing the experienced Fenlon back to Windsor Park as a crucial appointment that will help the club with its aspirations both on and off the field of play.
“The position of general manager is a key strategic appointment by the club and Pat’s extensive experience in football will be a great asset to us. We have fantastic facilities at Windsor Park and at training facility Midgley Park and Pat will be working closely with the directors to maximise the opportunities we now have to take the club forward and to strengthen our position within the local game.”
The job will see Fenlon, who is aged 49, take on senior responsibility for all of the club’s off-field activities at Windsor Park and at Midgley Park and he will also work on the future strategies of the club.
He says he is proud to have been offered the role and adds that he is keen to get going. He said:
“I am pleased and honoured to be offered this exciting new position at Linfield Football Club. I enjoyed some wonderful years here as a player and the club means a lot to me. This is a club with huge potential and I am excited by the opportunity to develop it further.”
Fans will remember that Fenlon won a league title and two Irish Cups while with Linfield and he also played for St Patrick’s Athletic, Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne — which was the club where he began his career as a head coach in 2002.
The news comes after Blues goal-getter Andrew Waterworth struck in the sixth and last minute of stoppage-time to rescue Linfield from a first-ever defeat by Warrenpoint Town. The visitors were in front through a Simon Kelly penalty after 19 minutes but Waterworth’s dramatic late goal means Linfield are now level at the summit of the Danske Bank Premiership with Glenavon.
Blues boss David Healy said he felt flat at the manner in which his side conceded the spot-kick but was heartened at the way his charges responded. He added:
“I didn’t think their penalty should have been given as I thought our player got the ball. I’m disappointed with the result but I can’t be too disappointed with the majority of the players as they left nothing out there.”
Meanwhile, a big blow to the Blues has emerged with the news that the club could be without Daniel Kearns until the new year with an ankle problem. Kearns, the ex-Glenavon flyer, was crocked in the win over Dungannon Swifts at the end of October, and Healy disclosed:
“Daniel took a heavy challenge last weekend. He’s going to be out for possibly eight weeks. It’s a big blow for us. It’s an ankle injury. It’s disappointing for him and the club. It could be the New Year before we see him again.”