29 Jan 2022

New Longford Town manager Neale Fenn facing the challenge of revitalising the club fortunes

New Longford Town manager Neale Fenn facing the challenge of revitalising the club fortunes

New Longford Town manager Neale Fenn pictured at City Calling Stadium on Saturday night last for the First Division clash against Cabinteely FC. Photo: Syl Healy

It has been a whirlwind few days for new Longford Town boss Neale Fenn. He was announced as manager on Tuesday night (27th June) and it culminated in watching his side extend their unbeaten run to five games on Saturday night last with a 1-0 win over Cabinteely at City Calling Stadium.

He said: “I met Gary (Cronin) on Wednesday evening. We came up with a plan on what we would work on. We took the training on Thursday together. They had a good couple of results before I took the job and Saturday was just an extension to that.”

Being a manager is new for Fenn, having previously been assistant manager at Leyton Orient and Drogheda United.  He is now looking forward to implementing his own ideas: “I always had an idea of how I’d want my team to play if I had a chance to manage; put that stamp on it. To do that you do need players you want. At the moment, I’m working with a group of players I’m just getting to know.”

Fenn has played under some good managers in the past and has learned a lot from them. He’s hoping he can use their words of wisdom along with his own ideas.

“I tried to take bits from every manager I have played under. From Pat Dolan’s getting everyone pulling in the same direction, Rico (Damien Richardson) with his attitude; don’t worry about them, worry about us. Pat Fenlon’s professionalism and determination and Michael O’Neill’s attention to detail. Just things like that. There’s not one manager I want to be definitely like but I want to take bits of their character and use it with mine.”

Talking to the Londoner, his enthusiasm is contagious and it only augurs well for Longford Town. His words are just what supporters want to hear.

“There has been a bit of excitement. Hopefully we can replicate that on the pitch. We need to promote the club and promote when the matches are on. I have told the guys at the club that I will help them do that. Same with Gary Cronin. We will be out there in the community. We need people coming in through the turnstiles.”

Speaking of Gary Cronin, Fenn is happy for the Dubliner to stay with the club and said he has been a huge help to him as he settles in as Town boss.

 “Gary is there with me and he’s good to have around. I didn’t know him but we have mutual friends. I was told to keep him around, that he’s a great guy. He has been a great help to me so far.”

 On the subject of new faces coming in over the next few weeks Fenn said:

“Jim (Hanley) asked if there is a player I identified that I want to bring in. I want to get a good look at the squad and give everyone a chance. I want to look at the U-19s and see if there is anyone there that should be training with the first team.”

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