Armstrong set to take up position with the IFA

Nigel Armstrong.
Nigel Armstrong.
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Nigel Armstrong will step down from the role of Annagh United first-team manager after the final whistle on Saturday - win, lose or draw.

Annagh kick off a second season in the Irish League’s second-tier programme by visiting Ballyclare Comrades.

Irrespective of the result, club officials must start the process of finding a replacement for Armstrong following the NIFL Championship game.

Armstrong will, however, remain connected to the Tandragee Road club - with the decision solely motivated by his recent appointment to a special role within the Irish Football Association.

“I am taking on a part-time Club Development position with the IFA that involves around 20 hours of work each week with Linfield and Warrenpoint Town,” said Armstrong. “The idea is to help clubs strengthen links between the youth teams and ladies’ football with the senior set-up.

“Eight of us have been given roles, with Robert Davidson from Portadown also involved at Glenavon and Newry Ladies.

“Because of that position, I must step down as Annagh first-team manager.

“However, it is something we have discussed within the club and the understanding is we will have a month to appoint a replacement.

“Dean Smith is currently finalising his UEFA B Licence qualification so that would allow for an obvious transition.”

Annagh will enter the league season having added goalkeeper Luke Bush and striker Stephen Doyle to the panel.

“We have a policy of signing young players overall and handing people opportunities,” said Armstrong. “Craig Taylor will come into the first-team squad off the back of a superb SuperCupNI tournament with County Armagh.

“The plan is for the squad from last season to utilise the lessons of that first campaign at this level, such as game management, to allow us to continue to develop the whole club overall.”

Kick-off will be 3 o’clock.