Former Bray Wanderers player Gary Cronin has been appointed as the club’s new permanent manager.
Niall O’Driscoll, who along with his brother Timmy took a controlling stake in the Premier Division’s bottom club 10 days ago, promised changes and has replaced caretaker boss Graham Kelly with eight league games remaining. The new man will take charge of training tonight and Friday's FAI Cup tie against Finn Harps.
This will be the first manager’s post for Cronin. The the 39-year-old departed Longford Town in November having served as assistant to three managers, Tony Cousins, Alan Mathews and Neale Fenn.
He was one of the recent graduates from the FAI’s UEFA Pro-Licence programme, the highest qualification available to coaches in Europe, and will have ultimate responsibility for all national league teams within the Wicklow club, from Under-13 to first-team level.
With Bray marooned at the bottom of the table by nine points and heading towards the First Division for the first time in 15 years, the club has tasked Cronin with a rebuilding the team on a limited budget.
Overspending at a club that struggles to attract 800 fans to home games resulted in them suffering financial problems under the previous owner Gerry Mulvey. Salaries due to players for June were over a fortnight late in arriving.
O’Driscoll has vowed to honour all contracts and will start afresh for the 2019 season with a new reality.
He has already tried to repair some of the damage between the club and fans caused by the previous regime, understanding that the heady days of the 1990s when Bray won two FAI Cups are a long way off.