Published 22/01/2013 | 15:15
FORMER Dundalk, Dublin City and Athlone Town boss John Gill is back in management for the first time since leaving Oriel Park in 2008 - as Vinny Perth's successor at Malahide United.
Donabate resident Gill has already met the squad twice and will take charge of the team for the first time when they host Edenderry Town at Gannon Park this Thursday (7.45pm). Speaking to the Fingal Independent this week, Gill said he was delighted to be back in the game after most recently serving as an assistant to Pete Mahon at St Patrick's Athletic. 'Some people will perceive it as a step down in standard and say 'why is he taking it?', but it's nothing to do with money. It's a chance to work with a good club and they have much better facilities than the majority of teams in the League of Ireland. 'Malahide did approach me two and a half years ago when I was at St Pat's, and in fact I recommended Vinny Perth to them then. When he went to Dundalk I got a phone call to ask would I be interested, and I said I would. 'I'm familiar with the surroundings because I live in Donabate, I've been to a lot of their home games and it's a job that excites me. 'Vinny and Alan [Murphy] have done a good job and they are doing quite well. The goal is to consolidate and maybe try to get a couple of players in, although I've only got 10 days to do that. 'I worked out that I've had 200 games as a manager and 200 as a coach in the League of Ireland. I've won two First Division titles, finished second twice and third once, and that doesn't give you the right to do well, but I'm more than capable of managing a team and it's just a case of getting my ideas across. 'It's a community-based club and there's a fantastic youth structure. They're the U-16 AllIreland champions, they have a very good Under-17s and the second senior team is in the top division in the Saturday league.' Giving his reaction, Mals chairman Don Butler said: 'When a guy of that pedigree becomes available, you would not be looking anywhere else. He will be great for the club and the players were delighted to see a guy of his experience. 'That's not undermining what Vinny Perth did - the senior section is in a good place - but it's a great appointment and we're delighted. Alan Murphy is remaining as his assistant and that gives us the continuity.' Gill said no timescale had been agreed in terms of how long he would stay, and it's clear that he still harbours an ambition to return to League of Ireland management in future - if an opportunity ever arose. 'The League of Ireland is not what it once was, and there's only so many jobs that go around, but this is probably the only job outside the league I would have considered. You never say never, but you have to be asked. I did my Pro Licence and all my badges, and I haven't been getting too many calls since I've been out of the game. 'I did meet one First Division club, but they couldn't guarantee facilities for training, so what was the point? You have to have the tools to work with and progress, and training facilities are one of the fundamentals. 'I could sit around and wait for a job to come up or take an opportunity like this, which will further my career. As a coach you could stagnate. You can watch all the games you want, but you need to be dealing with players and using man-management skills.' Gill's first test comes this Thursday at home to Edenderry Town, whose playing ranks include four-time League of Ireland winner Dessie Baker. 'They beat Malahide down there earlier in the season, so it gives us a chance to rectify that and maybe push up the table,' Gill concluded.