independent

Thursday 19 July 2018

Kelly is caretaker boss

Seagulls begin eager search for new manager

Dave Mackey, who stepped down last weekend as manager of Bray Wanderers after a difficult spell at the SSE Airtricity League Premier League club
Dave Mackey, who stepped down last weekend as manager of Bray Wanderers after a difficult spell at the SSE Airtricity League Premier League club

Graham Kelly has been announced as the caretaker manager of Bray Wanderers for the foreseeable future, but the Co. Wicklow club are reported to be actively seeking a permanent replacement for Dave Mackey.

Mackey resigned 103 days into his rein on Sunday with his side rooted to the foot of the table with a goal difference of -23 after nine league matches.

Under Mackey's stewardship, the Seagull failed to win a single match. Bray's last three matches saw them ship 12 goals and score none as morale seemed to hit an all-time low.

Mackey was a surprise announcement on December 26 at a time when there were only five players on the books for the seaside club. He moved swiftly and announced a host of new signings on January 5.

Just one goal in three pre-season friendlies against First Division stirred some gentle pessimism but a brilliant battling 0-0 draw against Dundalk on the opening day of the season restored fans' faith.

The new-found optimism was short-lived. Nine consecutive losses have followed since then but it is the manner of the losses that were most worrying.

On Friday, Wanderers were thrashed 5-0 by St. Patrick's Athletic and the next day, Mackey offered his resignation which the club "reluctantly accepted". In the statement that confirmed his resignation on Sunday morning, the club say they appreciated "the difficult task Dave had since he took on the role last December and wish to acknowledge the dedication and professionalism he brought to the job". They conclude by wishing him well and confirming that the search for his replacement is underway.

Mackey's record of 10 losses in 11 matches caused a very negative reaction on and off the pitch. There are numerous candidates rumoured to be in the running for the job (we profile five potential replacements inside) but they look set to have a difficult job in reviving Bray's season.

Wicklow People

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