Forthcoming managerial vacancy at Linfield of interest to Pat Fenlon

Former Hibernian boss eager to get back into the game

 Pat Fenlon: the former Hibernian FC manager, who was  in Dublin on Tuesday to help launch the SWAI’s  Brendan McKenna Memorial Award, is looking forward to resuming his career in football managemant.  Photo:  David Maher/Sportsfile

Pat Fenlon: the former Hibernian FC manager, who was in Dublin on Tuesday to help launch the SWAI’s Brendan McKenna Memorial Award, is looking forward to resuming his career in football managemant. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 01:00


Pat Fenlon’s managerial options remain very much open. And that includes a possible return to Linfield – the best club he says he ever played for.

Current Linfield boss David Jeffrey stunned the Belfast club last weekend by announcing he will step down at the end of this Irish League season after 17 trophy-laden years in charge.

Fenlon, who won a double and a second IFA Cup in a two-year stint as a player at Linfield in the mid-1990s, was immediately linked with the post.

And the 44-year-old Dubliner, who has won five league titles in his time as manager of Shelbourne and Bohemians, is very much available since parting company with Hibernian last November.

Linfield chairman Jim Kerr has suggested he wants to make an appointment within a month and Fenlon, who has always spoken fondly of his time at Windsor Park where he was affectionately nicknamed “Billy”, would appear to be in the frame.

“I spoke to David Jeffrey last week and I had no idea that he was going to go,” said Fenlon yesterday. “ I haven’t spoken to anyone at Linfield. I was a player there and I’m not working, so I suppose that all adds up.

Best club
“I’ve said before that it was the best club I played for, the best times I had as a player and it’s a great football club. I’m out of work at the moment so anything that comes up I’ll look at.”

“It’s a proper football club,” he added on Linfield. “When I was playing there it was really enjoyable, it felt like real professional football at the time and it’s no different now.

“I was back up there not too long ago for Michael Gault’s testimonial and it’s still the same, it’s a fabulous club and I enjoyed my time there.

“I’m disappointed for Davy as I did keep in touch with him and his record there is phenomenal. Anyone going in there has a difficult job to follow, he has won six or seven doubles and a clean sweep . . . He’s decided it’s time to go and I wish him well.”

This is the first pre-season during his career that Fenlon hasn’t been involved in preparations for the campaign ahead and he’s clearly itching to get back involved. “I’m open to offers,” said Fenlon. “I’m a manager and I want to work. Wherever that will take me.”

Pat Fenlon was speaking yesterday to promote the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland (SWAI) Brendan McKenna Memorial Award, a football writing competition for third level students. Details at www.swai.ie