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Forres Mechanics' new manager Gordon Connelly "delighted" to be back at Mosset Park and wants club back on the trophy hunt

By Jonathan Clark

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NEW Forres Mechanics manager Gordon Connelly has said he’s “absolutely delighted” to return to Mosset Park, almost 20 years after his last spell as boss.

Connelly (54) was announced as the Can-Cans’ new manager on yesterday after the departure of long-serving boss Charlie Rowley.

He’ll sit in the dugout for the first time during tomorrow night's match with Rothes at Mosset Park, alongside his newly-appointed assistant managers Steven MacDonald and Brian Macleod.

Gordon Connelly (right) and Steven MacDonald (left) during their spell with Rothes. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Gordon Connelly (right) and Steven MacDonald (left) during their spell with Rothes. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Assistant manager Brian Macleod. Picture: Gary Anthony
Assistant manager Brian Macleod. Picture: Gary Anthony

Connelly, from Maryburgh, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to join Forres. It was a no-brainer after I was approached.

“I’ve got to thank the club for the opportunity first and foremost. I’ve always had a burning desire to come back to Forres because it’s such a good set up.

"Some committee members are still here from my previous spell with the club so it’s not like I’m coming in blind.

“I’ve got to thank the club for allowing me to bring in two assistants of this calibre, too. I’ve known Steven for a long time, he was a player at Forres and then I worked with him at Rothes. Brian was manager at Clach and is held in high regard coaching-wise so it was good to attract him.”

Connelly’s last job in the Highland League was at Rothes, where he was a coach under the management of Steven MacDonald, who is set to be his assistant in this role.

Before that he managed Wick Academy for three years. He was Forres manager at the start of the century – bringing previous boss Charlie Rowley to Mosset Park in 2002.

The 54-year-old said the immediate aim is to introduce fresh ideas after a season where the players have “underachieved”. In the long run, the goal is to compete for the trophies again.

He said: “We’re not going to make huge clearances straight away. The immediate thing is to introduce what we want to do and get the players to buy into it.

“We don’t have any targets as such but there’s a good squad there who have probably underachieved this season and they know that.

“We want to get them enjoying football again, to relax and show their capabilities.

“The club has had a tough time over the last few years. Hopefully we can get the players challenging for things again, which they haven’t been doing for the last 10 years, which is surprising given the squads the club have had.

“The players need to realise it’s not good enough for a club the size of Forres.”

The new management team met the players for the first time yesterday for their one and only training session ahead of a Highland League double header at home to Rothes tomorrow and league leaders Fraserburgh on Saturday.

“It’s a massive start for us but it’s not something we are running away from,” Connelly added.

“We want the players to embrace it and have a go. Rothes are doing really well under Ross Jack so it’s a challenge but we are at home so need to make it difficult for them.”

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