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McLaughlin takes charge

Cliftonville Football Club are delighted to announce Paddy McLaughlin’s appointment as Manager.

The 39-year-old, who guided Institute to the Bluefin Sport Championship title last season, moves to Solitude with immediate effect and will oversee training tomorrow night ahead of taking his place in the dugout during the Reds’ Danske Bank Premiership fixture with Newry City on Saturday.

Following a thorough application process, a shortlist of candidates were interviewed by an independent panel over the weekend and the Club places on record our most sincere thanks to Tommy Breslin and Dr Leslie Caul for their assistance in recommending McLaughlin for ratification by the Cliftonville FC Board.

Chairman Gerard Lawlor, who was also part of the evaluation procedure, explained: “I’m very pleased to welcome Paddy McLaughlin to Cliftonville and look forward to the team and Club realising their potential under his guidance.

“Paddy has won a string of admirers across the Irish League not only for the superb job he has done at Institute, but also the strong leadership qualities he displayed during both his playing career and since moving into coaching and management.

“The Football Club were very happy with the quality and quantity of applicants from across Ireland and beyond and, having narrowed our options down to the candidates interviewed over the weekend, Paddy impressed everyone on the panel with his attention to detail and clear passion for the job.

“As well as thanking everyone who applied for the role, and indeed Michael Press, Marc Smyth and Barry Johnston for the work they have done on an interim basis over the last two weeks, I once again congratulate Paddy on his appointment and am sure our supporters will join me in welcoming him to Ireland’s Oldest Football Club.

“A united Cliftonville is a stronger Cliftonville and I look forward to us all making progress in that spirit.”

Creggan man McLaughlin – who has installed Brian Donaghey (scorer of five goals in 53 appearances for the Reds between 1998-2000) as his Assistant Manager and added Conleth McCrudden as our new Goalkeeping Coach – was noted for his inspirational leadership during a playing career that saw him serve his native Derry City and Coleraine as well as two spells at both Finn Harps and Institute.

As a no-nonsense centre-half, he captained Stute to Premiership promotion in the 2013/14 season and, following his retirement in 2015, was named the Drumahoe side’s no. 2 under boss Kevin Deery and remained in the position for two years before being appointed Manager in May 2017.

His first season at the helm saw Institute, renowned for their attractive style of play, win the Championship despite being at the significant disadvantage of having neither a regular home ground nor training base following the floods which devastated the Riverside Stadium.

Following relocation to Derry’s Brandywell Stadium, Stute’s easy-on-the-eye style continued to win Premiership plaudits this term, one of the attributes which contributed to McLaughlin impressing our independent interview panel.

Paddy will be officially unveiled to the media before meeting his new players for the first time this evening, with supporters advised to refer back to for an exclusive interview with our new Manager very soon.