Chris Kelly sent us this statement to publicise on his behalf:
“So that’s it. As of Tuesday evening I am no longer the manager of Lurgan Town. Due to work & family commitments I can no longer give the job the time and commitment it deserves. It wouldn’t be fair to the club or players to continue on without being able to give it my 100%. I want to thank everyone at Lurgan Town for the opportunity they gave me 4 years ago to come in as reserve manager and then first team manager the following year. It was a huge leap of faith by them and I thank them for it and hope that I’ve repaid the faith.
I hope the opinion is that the senior setup is in much stronger position than it was 5 years ago. Two reserve league titles in 3 years show not only the strength of the overall depth of the squad, but also the introduction of many young players has continued the blueprint we set out within my first year at the reserves. Well done to Steven Beattie & Michael Shilliday for following on with that model. Hopefully in a few seasons those youngsters will have gained their experience at senior level to push into the first team.
This season for the first team hasn’t been the season we’d all hoped for following last season’s strong finish. Because of this I will leave slightly disappointed that we couldn’t kick on this year for promotion, but I firmly believe the team is strong enough to kick on next season and fulfil their potential after some tough learning curves this year.
Finally I want to thank: Lee Dickson and Nigel McCann for their support with the 1st team over the past 3 seasons. Alastair Carson for the thankless job he has done with the kits for the past 3 years. Nigel Johnston for his support as a chairman but also in the physio role over the past couple of seasons. Steven Beattie and Michael Shilliday for the job they have done with the reserve team. Brian, Badger, Graeme, Stuarty and Trevor for their support from behind the bar and putting up with some of the shapes we’ve been in down the years. All the youth coaches who have bought into the progression of the young players into the senior setup. Players – to every player who has ever played in a team of mine I thank you all for your effort. The Mrs – Sharon thanks for putting up with me being out of the house, on the phone or stressing about football. I know it wasn’t easy.
Lurgan Town is a fantastic club and will continue to grow. The future is huge, and it’s been a privilege to play my small part in it. I want to wish Dicko all the best next season. I’ve no doubt he will continue the progression with a fresh enthusiasm to the role. It’s certainly not a farewell as I’ll probably be down watching as a supporter most weeks with my daughter”. #heartonthesleeve