AMATEUR LEAGUE: New boss King looks to the future with Islandmagee

Islandmagee manager, Stephen King. INLT 04-215-AM
Islandmagee manager, Stephen King. INLT 04-215-AM
  • Former Grange Rangers boss enjoying life at Wilbourne Park

Islandmagee’s new boss Stephen King is under no illusions about the task in hand at the Amateur League Premier Division strugglers.

King, who took over at the club in early January, is still cutting his teeth in football management, but he’s determined to revive the fortunes of the Wilbourne Park club.

The 30-year-old is Islandmagee’s third boss this season, and having turned the job down in the autumn, decided to make the move from Division 2C Grange Rangers at the second time of asking.

“It’s all new for me at the minute,” he said. “I’ve been getting to know a lot of the players and the staff and that was part of the reason I came in at this stage. I wanted to get to see everybody and see what I need for next season.

“There are players who were here when I arrived who have impressed me. I’ve brought in Tiago Leite, my brother Matti King, Phil Gregg and Robert McFall from the Grange. I’ve also signed Gary Workman who plyed here under Stephen Donald. He’s a good addition to the squad.

“My job now is to make Islandmagee competitive again. If we’re competitive and getting close in games, the points will come. It’s all about rebuilding the club now and it’s my job try and turn things around.

“We haven’t resigned ourselves to being relegated this season, definitely not. We go into every game to try and win it. It doesn’t matter who we are playing; it’s eleven versus eleven and I’m more than confident that with the players we have there at the minute that we can grind out some results.

“That said, we still have to play all the top teams twice. It’s going to be a tough few months but we are up for the challenge.

“We’ve good numbers at training and everybody is playing for the shirt now. That’s a good thing.”

For King, lured to the top-flight after Mark Duff’s short spell in charge, the short-term and long-term objectives are exactly the same: to get the club back on an even keel.

He added: “Over time, we want to bring success to Islandmagee. We don’t want to be in this position again where we are fighting to stave off relegation.

“When they came back in for me a second time it made me feel wanted and it’s a big club and I’m ambitious and it’s a good opportunity for me.”