Gary Haveron, his two UEFA ‘B’ badge examinations successfully completed and with the intensive work in the first week of the UEFA ‘A’ Licence procedure finishing last weekend, is optimistic he will be reinstated as Carrick Rangers manager.
Haveron stepped down as manager of Carrick on March 31 with club stalwart Glenn Taggart officially taking charge.
Haveron made the move because he didn’t possess the full UEFA ‘B’ coaching qualification needed as part of the application process for a Championship licence - a requirement for clubs seeking promotion to the top-flight.
But, speaking to the Times, the Larne native said: “You can’t take anything for granted but I am confident and working towards that end, 10 hours of logged coaching my current target to head towards the completion of the necessary requirements.”
As things stand he will still be in his coaching role when the squad meets for a first pre-season training session on Saturday.
And, as the build-up towards their return to top-level football begins to gather momentum, two new faces have been lured to Taylor’s Avenue and the first-team coach is optimistic several more are on their way.
“There’s a chance we could have two or three additions by the time the weekend comes, but already on forms are Joe McNeill, who’s joined us from Coleraine, and Andrew Doyle from Ballyclare Comrades,” he said.
“Joe, who had initially been with Crumlin Star before joining Cliftonville where he did well at a time when breaking into the title-winning first-team was incredibly difficult, was enjoying playing with The Bannsiders but didn’t like the location and was faced with the prospect of travelling by himself after other Belfast players were no longer going.
“He’s a big, strong, honest player who will give us options. He’s a central midfielder who can play on the left side, left back or even maybe slot into centre-half.
“Andrew is a centre-back or holding midfielder or possibly even a right-back who was once captain of the Comrades and is very experienced, having been a crucial component in Harry McConkey’s junior international squad.
“But while, with only 26 games in the Championship One league programme now replaced by a 38 match campaign in the Premier League, we obviously have to expand the squad, our intention was always to place our trust in the guys who won promotion.
“We have already signed most of the players from last season and we are busy going through the process of getting the others to put pen to paper,” he added.
Stop press: Carrick announced the signing of midfielder Mark Surgeoner from Ballymena United on a one-year deal on Tuesday.