McGrath installed as new boss

EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Mickleover Sports have named former Republic of Ireland international John Mcgrath as their new manager.

The UEFA A licence coach and former Aston Vila, Doncaster Rovers and more recently Burton Albion midfielder was appointed on Thursday, three days after the departure of joint managers Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood.

As well as running the first team in his first managerial post and continuing to play in the EVO-STIK NPL's top flight, the 36-year-old will have responsibility for all the club's sides including their successful academy and a new reserve team.

In a statement announcing his arrival, delighted officials said their committee took the unusual step of not bothering to interview other applicants after being so impressed by McGrath's vision for the club.

A spokesman said: "Mickleover Sports Chairman Don Amott said that our committee have taken the unusual step of not inviting applications for the position because we were so impressed with John’s vision for the first team and the academy. He also knows the current players well and is currently a coach in our academy.

"John meets all the criteria we had set, including developing the academy to produce first team players and bringing back a more local base to the first team. We believe this will attract more supporters next season and raise the profile of our academy even further."

McGrath said: "I am delighted to take on the role of Player Manager and Head of Academy at Mickleover Sports FC. I aim to deliver an exciting brand of football to the Don Amott Arena and look forward to a successful season and future at the club.

"I aim to integrate the football club back in to the local community by using my knowledge of our excellent academy system and therefore developing talented local kids."

He added: "My leadership skills as club and team captain at Burton Albion for six years has been a great insight in to the leadership skills needed to succeed, not only as a great manager but just as importantly as a great man manager."

Hopkins and Kirkwood, pictured above, stood on Monday after nearly four years at Station Road. In a statement announcing their departures, Sports officials said both managers had young families and had cited the need to spend more time with them over the summer.

Since arriving from Heanor Town in 2012, the pair have been credited with totally transforming a struggling club into promotion winners within three years, their side winning the EVO-STIK NPL First Division South title at a canter in 2014-15 while scoring more than a 100 goals.

* Sports are holding a May Day party on Bank Holiday Monday when fans will gte a chance to meet McGrath who is attending with his family.

Images courtesy of Mickelover Sports & www.thenonleaguefootballpaper.com

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