New Forres Mechanics manager Gordon Connelly is thrilled to be back in management and hopes to lead the Can-Cans to silverware.
Connelly – who will be assisted by former Rothes boss Steven MacDonald and ex-Clach manager Brian Macleod – returns to Mosset Park having previously enjoyed success with the club as a player and manager.
He also guided Wick Academy to their first trophy in senior football, the North of Scotland Cup in 2015, and was last involved in the Breedon Highland League as MacDonald’s assistant at Rothes.
Connelly succeeds Charlie Rowley, who stepped down after 11-and-a-half years, as Forres manager.
He said: “I’m delighted to be back involved. I withdrew away from football during the Covid period like a lot of people did.
“Then I took a wee job scouting the opposition for Brechin this season.
“I went to a few of the grounds and thought: ‘I miss this.’
“I missed everything about the Highland League – the competitiveness, the social side of it and being in management.
“I thought: ‘it would be interesting if I could get back into it’, then out of the blue this opportunity came up and there was no way I was turning it down.
“The good thing is that all three of us have managed at this level so there’s great experience between us.
“We’ll look at a plan and the ultimate aim is to bring silverware back to Forres.
“It’s 10 years without reaching a final, let alone winning any silverware, we want to change that.”
New boss familiar with Forres
As a player, Connelly helped Forres win the Highland League Cup in 1999 and 2001.
He then managed the Can-Cans to League Cup glory in 2002 and is pleased to be returning to Mosset Park.
He added: “I started at Forres as a player and became player-manager and was successful during that period.
“I know the structure of the club and have a good rapport with the committee and the supporters.
“The nucleus is all there and it was an easy decision to take the job and I’m looking forward to it.”
Looking forward to working with players
Connelly will meet the Forres squad at training tonight and is looking forward to working with them.
He said: “It’s a decent squad, but we’re short of numbers and you’re calling upon the same guys every week to go to the well and it’s hard to keep doing that.
“We’ll look at that, but I’m delighted we were also able to recruit guys of the calibre of Steven and Brian.
“That will help massively on the playing side of things with the workload that’s ahead of us.
“The first thing is to meet the players and over the coming months I’ll have a look at the whole structure of the club from the youths to the under-20s and the pathway to the first team.
“Anything that can be improved going forward is something we’ll look at.”
Forres chairman David Macdonald said: “I’m delighted that the club has secured an experienced manager in Gordon Connelly.
“I’m sure Gordon and his team of coaches will carry on the good work in maintaining the team at a level to compete in all competitions.
“Gordon was well known to the club, having previously served as both a player and manager.”