THE Mountjoy United pair of David Gilfillan and Chris Colhoun have been appointed as joint managers of the Tyrone Junior SuperCupNI team for the next three years.
Both men have a wealth of experience in youth football with their club and breifly through the Brendan Keogh Youth Academy while Gilfillan has twice acted as part of a Tyrone backroom team at the Milk Cup under both Tommy Canning in 2011 and Stephen and Richard Clarke in 2016.
Interviews were held for the Junior post on Monday evening and on Tuesday the County Tyrone SuperCupNI Association confirmed that the Mountjoy duo had been appointed.
Gilfillan, who also manages the first team at Lisnagirr Road, said he and his long-time associate were relishing the task ahead.
“Both of us completed our B Licence in the summer and I suppose we we’re looking for the next project to get our teeth into,” he said.
“It’s a new challenge for us, to get the opportunity to work with different players, the best young players in the county at that. We’re looking forward to getting stuck into a new project and the timing is good in that the Fermanagh and Western season will be well through by February or March.
“Everyone knows the success Chris has had with Mountjoy Juniors and I have been involved in the Milk Cup a couple of times. We have also taken teams to the Foyle Cup.
“We have both been involved in youth football for much of our life and we’re are looking forward to this challenge big time. We have our own ideas on how we’ll approach what is a whole new process. We’ll select our own backroom team for the tournament but at different stages we’ll be bringing in different people as part of the build-up.”
Gilfillan and Colhoun will have a hard act to follow given that, under Martin Gallagher, the under-15s reached the semi-finals of this year’s tournament only to lose on penalties to a classy Glasgow Rangers outfit.
Not surprisingly Gallagher has been appointed as the new Premier manager given the success he had enjoyed with the Juniors in the past three years. Gallagher, who will again be assisted by Darren Crozier, said he was delighted to continue his involvement with the Tyrone set-up.
In the interests of continuity and having already developed a relationship with many of the players, it seemed Gallagher was the logical choice for the Premier post.
After his appointment Gallagher insisted that gaining selection to the under-17 squad would not be a closed shop.
“Of course many of the same players who were involved in the Juniors will move onto the seniors,” he said.
“However we’ll be looking to find a few new ones, perhaps even boys who missed out the last time.
“Players develop at different stages and we’ll be picking players on the here and now and not what they may have done in the past.
“A boy who missed out the last time my have progressed further than a lad who may have been selected in the past.
“In the next few weeks we’ll be getting out and about to make a start on the trial and selection process.”
Gallagher also believes that competing in the Premier section will be much tougher than the Junior.
“It’s a big step up in standard, there is no doubt about that,” he continued.
“You’re coming up against stronger teams from all over the world that can compete with the Premier League academies. The players will have to up their game and so will we.”