Bray Wanderers confirm Dave Mackey as their new manager
The appointment appears to underline a change in direction at the Carlisle Grounds
Dave Mackey is the new manager at the Carlisle Grounds. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Newly appointed Bray Wanderers manager Dave Mackey says that he has already started talking to members of last year’s squad about returning to the club for the coming season.
However, he acknowledges that it may be too late to recover the momentum that the club seemed to possess when things were going well over the first half of 2017.
“If we can build on Harry Kenny’s great work then that is what we will be aiming to do but that probably depends on how many of the squad he had assembled we can get back to the club,” says Mackey, 57, a member of Dundalk’s title-winning squad in 1991, who spent five years in various roles at Bray between 2008 and 2013. He has also worked with Shamrock Rovers and Cabinteely over the past decade.
“I appreciate that some of them have already moved on to other clubs but my position is that I would at least like to have a conversation with each of them to see what the situation is and I have started that process. There is a lot of work to be done but I have started that and I will be looking to make some progress on both the squad and a backroom team over the next few days.”
Mackey, who has managed himself at under-19 level and been an assistant to others within first team set ups at senior league sides, is clearly excited to be getting an opportunity to succeed Kenny but appreciates that he takes over at what is a difficult time for the club.
“I live in the area and have a great affection for the club,” he says. “I have been to see the team play fairly regularly since I left in 2013. It has been a challenging time but I have experience of working with Bray and I know from experience that there are some fantastic people working behind the scenes there. I understand that there is a bit of a risk involved in the job but I’m delighted to get the chance to work with them.”
The target for next season, he says, is to stay in the top flight “as it will be for quite a few other clubs,” but he clearly hopes for more than that if a strong squad can be assembled.
Just five players are currently under contract with Aaron Greene and Keith Buckley comfortably the most experienced of them and many of the others who have not already formally signed with rivals have been attracting interest, something Mackey knows leaves him with little time for settling in.
Some may yet, for all their apparent reservations, re-sign for the club now that there is a new manager in place and alternatives elsewhere have dried up somewhat.
Although it is not clear what sort of budget Mackey will have to work with. It does seem likely to be significantly smaller than the one Kenny had at his disposal and there may well be a greater emphasis during the coming season on the promotion of players that have come through Wanderers’ partnership with St Joseph’s Boys, a fruitful relationship that has previously produced some high quality players for both the club and the league.