OWEN HEARY admits it was a "hard decision" to turn down the chance to leave Bohemians for a post with fellow strugglers Shelbourne, but the former Reds captain says his conscience would have prevented him from jumping ship.
Shels have appointed John McDonnell as their new manager – he oversaw a narrow defeat by Shamrock Rovers in his first game in charge and his first home game will be the FAI Cup clash against non-league side Bandon on Friday.
Heary – who won five league titles as a player with Shels, but is now assistant manager at Bohs, as well as carrying on his playing career with the Gypsies – had been strongly linked with the manager's job at Tolka Park, but the fact that he does not have a Pro Licence qualification ruled him out.
McDonnell had wanted to bring in Heary as his assistant, allowing Heary time to start on his Pro Licence, but after mulling over the offer, Heary decided to stay put.
"I could have gone to Shels and it was tempting as Shels were a big part of my career, but I would not have felt right in walking away," Heary told The Herald.
"My head was spinning for a few days last week as it was a big call to make, I have spent the majority of my career at Bohs and Shels, so whatever call I made, it was going to be a big decision.
"But I felt it was only right to stay at Bohs and finish what we have started. I wouldn't feel right in moving clubs and going from Bohs to Shels at a time when it's the two clubs at the bottom of the division and fighting to get away from the bottom."
Defeat for Bohs at home by St Patrick's Athletic on Friday night – their third loss in four games – and wins for UCD and Bray Wanderers saw Bohs drop to second bottom in the table, seven points ahead of Shels, who have now lost their last four in a row.
Both clubs take a break from a difficult league campaign this week, Bohs at home to Drogheda United in the FAI Cup as Shels take on Bandon.