First team manager, Chris Kelly, has called time on his tenure with the senior lads following his 4 seasons in charge. He will be replaced at the helm by his current assistant manager Lee Dickson. Both lads are no strangers to the club having played both for the junior and senior teams during their more ‘mobile’ years. “Unfortunately due to a number of family commitments I no longer have the time to fully commit to the club I have played for and managed. I wish Lee Dickson and the boys all the best for the future”.
Chris came back to the club at the beginning of the 2014/15 season to manage the reserves alongside Steven Beattie. It was a difficult task given the fact the reserves had finished the 13/14 season bottom of the pile on 13 points. But to their credit, the guys brought him some new players and narrowly missed out on promotion to Reserve Division 1 by a solitary point. At the end of the season the current first team manage Tim Lennon stepped down from his post and the space was filled by Kelly alongside Nigel McCann.
Once again a tall order stood in front of the guys. An underperforming side was languishing in the depths of Intermediate B and a fresh outlook was badly needed. The guys improved their league position in their debut season, but this was quickly followed up by a 4th place finish in the 16/17 season, Town’s highest position in a number of years. The 2017/18 season looks like it will see Town finish in mid table.
There is no doubt that Chris has improved the whole senior squad. His investment in the youth teams has been fantastic to see and the number of new faces he has brought to the club is second to none. Lee Dickson’s task will be to improve on these building blocks set by a man with Lurgan Town in his heart. I can remember my father, Brian Gordon, telling me of a young lad playing in our U16s and had just broken into our senior side. He said that Kelly was the most exciting and committed player he had watched at our club for years and that he had the potential to do great things. Unfortunately this was cut short due to injury, and rather than giving up completely, Chris turned his hand to coaching and managing. We are thankful that he has passed on his skills and knowledge at our club, and we are hopeful that this won’t be the last we see of him at the Arena. We wish Lee Dickson all the best for the new season and give him our full backing.
Chris Kelly record in all competitions as 1st / 2nd team manager:
Played – 124
Won – 54
Draw – 20
Lost – 50
Goals For – 269
Goals Against – 242