New Drogheda role for veteran Pete Mahon

Mahon in for Kinsella as Drogheda assistant

Pete Mahon

Aidan Fitzmaurice

AT THE age of 67, most football men are scaling back their involvement.

But Pete Mahon, who turns 68 in the summer, has ended his three-year exile from the senior scene in this country and signed up for another bout in the League of Ireland, as assistant manager with Drogheda United.

Drogheda had unveiled former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella as their new assistant only two months ago but due to new FAI regulations on coaching qualifications, Kinsella cannot serve as John McDonnell's No. 2, though Kinsella will remain on the coaching staff.

And so Mahon, who had been off the League of Ireland beat since leaving St Patrick's Athletic at the end of the 2011 season, finds himself back at the coalface, his first glimpse of the United squad at a pre-season friendly last night, as age is no barrier for the veteran.

"I may be 67 but I feel like I am still 47," he says. "Mentally and physically I feel great, and I never lost the love I had for the game for the League of Ireland in particular.

"I know I could be doing other things at my age but I just love football, it's like a drug for me. I love the involvement, the training ground, working with players and hopefully myself, John McDonnell and Mark Kinsella can work well together.

"I have such a love for the league and despite all the problems and issues in the game here, it's still the best league in this country and I have a great affection for it, going back to the 1960s when I started going to games first."

Mahon had a long spell in senior management, working with Bohemians (2001), UCD (2003-09) and St Pats (2009-11) but since his exit from Pats had been involved with Malahide United but Mahon grew frustrated. "Maybe I was too demanding but I found it hard to get the commitment I wanted from the players at Malahide, due to other priorities they had," he says.

Drogheda will have a new-look side for 2015 with 10 of last season's squad gone. "It won't be easy with the squads that other teams have but I think we can at least be mid-table," Mahon says.

"It will be a dog fight, teams trying to win the league or just stay in it but mid-table would be a great season for us."