Muir named as new manager of Wakehurst

Paul Muir is relishing his first crack at management after being appointed as the new boss of Wakehurst Football Club.

The local man replaces long-serving boss Ian Gregg, who stepped down last week after more than 10 years in charge.

We have to finish fifth from bottom next season - anything higher than that will be considered a bonus.

Wakehurst manager Paul Muir

Muir admits that taking over at a club where he also played in a distinguished Irish League career is an advantage.

“Even after I left to join Moyola in January, I followed Wakehurst’s fortunes and I had told the club I was available to help in whatever capacity they saw fit,” he told Times Sport.

“It’s a critical season for the club and we want to bring a freshness to the club.”

With four teams potentially being relegated from Championship Two next season - as the league restructures to a 12-team format - Muir is under no illusions about the task facing Wakehurst, who finished 13th last season.

“We have to finish fifth from bottom next season - anything higher than that will be considered a bonus.

“That’s not being negative - I’m as ambitious as anyone - but the reality is that we have to make sure we are still in Championship Two at the end of next season.

“Some players will be moving on but I hope that some will still be involved with the club in different ways.

“I’ve spoken to a number of players already and I will be looking to bring in about six new faces, to provide more competition for places,” added Paul, who has named former Wakehurst boss Neil Candlish as his assistant.

“I’ve been around football for 30 years and I have picked up a lot of different things from different managers.

“I remember from my time at Wakehurst that even when we were struggling, there was always a great turnout at training and there is a group of lads who want to learn and improve.

“My own experience of the club is that is was professionally run and that also went for how Ian ran the team but in my opinion, the hard work off the pitch wasn’t matched by the results on the pitch, through no fault of anyone.

“We don’t pay money to players and that sits easy with me - I would rather have players who are committed to playing for the club and the shirt.

“I’ll be speaking to players and looking at players and if anyone playing in the local leagues feels they want to have a crack at playing at a higher level, I will be happy to speak to them.

“We need to be a wee bit more street-wise and show a wee bit more guile and hopefully I can pass on some of my experience to the players,” added Paul.