Ex-Portadown assistant Kieran Harding has been appointed as the new manager of Carrick Rangers, the Times can exclusively reveal.
Harding, who was Ronnie McFall’s number two at Shamrock Park, spent over a decade on the books at the Ports.
He takes over the role vacated by Gary Haveron who resigned on Monday after he and the board ‘were unable to establish a mutual agreement on the best way forward for the club’.
Harding, along with McFall, quit Portadown in March in the aftermath of the Irish Cup exit to Lurgan Celtic.
Carrick owner Michael Hughes, a former Northern Ireland international, told the Times: “Kieran is a guy who has been around Irish League football as a coach. He’s been Ronnie McFall’s number two, so he has plenty of experience. He delivers the coaching licences for the IFA.
“I’ve a lot of respect and time for him. I know him through doing my badges at the IFA and through Irish League over the last few years.
“He wanted an opportunity in management and he’s prepared to come to Carrick Rangers and help develop the football club and our brand.”
He added: “For me it’s a really positive appointment and I’m really looking forward to working with him and to the challenges ahead.”
Hughes was keen to express his gratitude to former boss Haveron and his assistant, Steven Mills.
“They did an excellent job for the football club and I’m very thankful and grateful for the two-and-ahalf years they were there. I’m also very grateful for the two years’ service that Gary gave me as manager when he was my captain.
“We had to find someone of high quality and high calibre to replace them and I think we’ve done that.”