Wexford Youths boss Shane Keegan will leave the club after this evening's promotion/relegation play-off in Drogheda regardless of the result with the 34 year-old to be confirmed as Tommy Dunne's successor at Galway United.
Keegan, who has been with Wexford for five years and led to them to promotion at the end of 2015, had signed a two-year deal at the start of this season which also involved him taking up a full time job at Ferrycarrig Park as commercial manager.
Given the club’s limited resources and strong emphasis on using local players, he stated at the time that he would settle for a place in the play-offs come the end of the campaign and having successfully avoided last place and automatic relegation, his team goes into this evening’s game at United Park in a strong position to (they lead 2-0 from the first leg) to retain their top flight status.
There will inevitably be disappointment in Wexford, where he was very well regarded, over his decision to leave but that will surely be overshadowed by anger that Galway allowed the news to leak ahead of the second play-off game with the reports of his departure bound to prove a distraction ahead of what is a critically important game for the club.
The timing aside, the appointment will end a difficult few weeks for United who sacked Dunne but then struggled to find a desirable replacement willing to take the job on their terms.
Ian "Charlie" McPartland, a Scot who travelled extensively during his playing days, including to Belfast for a brief spell with Cliftonville, was on course to get the job some weeks ago after a strong recommendation from Roy Keane, who he coached under at Ipswich. Ultimately McPartland turned it down with the Connacht Tribune reporting that he believed the rebuilding job required was too great.
Former Sligo Rovers boss Micky Adams was reportedly also in the frame but he declined it on the basis that he wanted to bring in his own assistant when the club insisted that somebody familiar with a proven feel for United and the league generally be put into the position and it is understood that Johnny Glynn will work alongside Keegan.