Thorniewood United manager James McKenna quits hotseat

James McKenna (left) and his Thorniewood United assistant boss Keith Docherty are leaving after 18 months at the Viewpark club
James McKenna (left) and his Thorniewood United assistant boss Keith Docherty are leaving after 18 months at the Viewpark club

It’s all change at Viewpark junior outfit Thorniewood United, following manager James McKenna’s decision to retire after 14 months in charge, writes Craig Goldthorp.

McKenna and his assistant Keith Docherty’s final match will be this Saturday’s home McBookie.com League Two clash against Muirkirk, after which they will be replaced by Jamie Nesbitt and Chris Dolan who come in from Royal Albert.

“This change in management is no surprise at all,” Thorniewood secretary Ian McLaughlin told the Times and Speaker.

“It has been planned for a few weeks.

“It was good, because it gave us time to get organised and sort things out.

“So it has been one of the smoothest changes we have ever had.

“After 21 years in management, James just feels that he’s had enough now.

“He has had bother with his hip, so health wise he is struggling.

“He just feels that managing the club is a younger man’s thing.”

McLaughlin said he reckoned McKenna had done well at Thorniewood overall.

He added: “The results have been improving and we still have an outside chance of third place.

“The team has been inconsistent over the course but James certainly has improved us from where we were by bringing in new players.

“We are pleased with what he did for us.”

And the Thorniewood secretary is delighted with the incoming managerial partnership of Nesbitt and Dolan.

“They won Albert the second division for the first time in 50 years last season,” he said.

“They felt that they had taken Albert as far as they could.

“Royal Albert appointed other people so Jamie and Chris became available.

“It is a good time to do it. They have the last six games of the season to assess, see what they need and talk to players about contracts.

“We feel that they have the knowledge and the proven track record to get a team out of this division.

“We are looking forward to the coming season.”