DEPARTING Strabane Athletic manager Eamon Curry has paid tribute to the players who under him made history by capturing the Northern Ireland Intermediate League for the first time and reaching the last-16 of the Irish Cup.
Curry, who announced at the end of last week that he was stepping down as Athletic boss after two years in charge, thanked everyone at the club for their support and during his statement made special mention of his players.
“I want to put on record my upmost thanks, respect and admiration to the players within this group,” he said.
“They were given a challenge and they responded in great fashion. I
always believe that the players are the most important people at the
club. I’ve learnt so much in this role, and I’ll be forever grateful
for this group of players. A fantastic bunch of lads and ones I’m
going to miss.
“But now I get to become their biggest fan and I’ve no doubt this
group will continue to achieve.”
Former Tyrone SuperCupNI manager Curry joined the coaching team at Strabane in 2016 and two years later stepped into the manager’s job following the departure of Neil Carlin during the season.
In his first full season in charge Curry guided Athletic to the
last-16 of the Tennents Irish Cup and then delivered what many
supporters considered the Holy Grail – the Northern Ireland
Intermediate League title. Under Curry, Athletic became the first team from Strabane to clinch the coveted crown and the former goalkeeper said he would be eternally grateful for being given the opportunity to manage his hometown club and said he is stepping down with mixed emotions.
“Making the decision to step down is one I take with a heavy heart but also with a very proud one,” he continued.
“To be able to deliver the town’s first Intermediate League is
something I’m very proud of and I’m delighted for the club, members
and fans. Managers come and go but it’s the people in the background who are the pillars of strength, running a club and ensuring its
“Sometimes Strabane as a town gets a bad knock. That for me is
absolute nonsense. I’ve had little trouble managing this group,
they’ve been excellent and applied themselves on a level well above
what was needed.
“The Melvin facility we have is one of the best in the country and the
fans have backed this group through it all. To take nearly 400
supporters to the 5th and 6th rounds of the Irish Cup shows exactly
what the people of the town are all about. I want to say a massive
thank you to everyone of them.
“To the sponsors and local businesses that accommodated us before and after games, we really appreciate your kindness and I hope this
continues for our new manager.”
FULL STORY IN YESTERDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE