Northern Irish Premier League sides Glenavon FC and Larne FC both endured a turbulent Christmas period after changes in management.
First to go was Glenavon’s Colin Malone on 28 December, sacked following a run of seven consecutive league defeats, having previously been dismissed from the same post in 2003. That run soon stretched to a club record nine under the stewardship of caretaker coach Alan Frazer, also a former occupant of the Mourneview Park bench until his sacking in 1994.
The Lurgan Blues ended their wretched run of form with a goalless draw at Ballymena United FC on 5 January. The home side, who had won four of their last five in the league prior to hosting Glenavon, were almost themselves managerless after English second-tier side Norwich City FC approached Tommy Wright about becoming their goalkeeping coach. However, the former Northern Ireland international opted to stay with the fourth-placed club.
The Glenavon board is considering applications for the post, a vacancy it may fill later this week. Larne, however, have moved quickly to recruit their second manager in only two weeks following the departure of Tommy Leeman. Leeman was appointed on 18 December, after Paul Curran was sacked, but resigned on Monday citing poor organisation at the club. He has been replaced by former Larne goalkeeper Graham McConnell.
Meanwhile clubs take a break from league action this weekend when the Irish Cup gets underway. League champions and cup holders Linfield FC are away to Loughgall FC, while second-placed Glentoran FC host Lisburn Distillery FC.
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