Eddie Wallace, who served as assistant manager to Keith Long, has been named as the new manager of Athlone Town.
With Long succeeding Owen Heary as the new Bohemians chief at Dalymount Park, the Athlone Town committee swiftly released a statement last week about Wallace’s appointment. “The committee have acted immediately in appointing Eddie Wallace as manager for the forthcoming 2015 season. Eddie brings a wealth of experience to the club as was evident in the calibre of players signed during his period as assistant manager to Keith Long.
“It is hoped that continuity will be maintained and we will be in a position from a budgetary point of view to support the current squad of players who have signed for Athlone and whom it is intended will be part of the squad for the forthcoming season.”
The Athlone committee hope that the squad can launch an instant promotion bid. “We as a club do not wish to repeat the legacy of 18 years as a First Division club and the appointment is a statement of intent of all parties associated with the club to return to Premier football in the shortest possible time.”
Athlone now want to build on the impressive work Long carried out during his spell in charge of the midlanders. “We wish Keith every success in his new role and thank him for the hard work, commitment, and determination shown by him during his short period with the club and achieving a relative degree of success with the team who had accumulated nil points when he took over as manager,” the statement said.
“As everybody is aware Keith was ably supported by a strong management team which kept us in contention right up to the last day of the season. A very strong squad of players had been assembled and many would agree that it was a squad which was representative of a mid-table team within the Premier Division.
“Unfortunately we have been relegated and we will play First Division football for the forthcoming season. However with the determination, drive, and commitment of the committee along with the support of all our supporters and friends, businesses and local dignitaries we can continue to develop the club to be a driving force in Irish soccer.”
Long is happy to take the next step in his coaching career: “I am delighted to be taking over as manager of Bohemian FC and I am very much looking forward to working at this great football club. Preparations for next season will begin immediately and we will endeavour to build on the progress made this year.”