It was a winning start for 18th Newtownabbey Old Boys’ ‘new boy’, Mark Miskimmin who will be the club’s joint-manager alongside Phil McMahon.
Previously, Miskimmin’s ‘mark’ on local football has been in Irish League circles, not the mid-table obscurity of Division 1C in the Northern Amateur League. The striker had tread the boards at Linfield, Glenavon, Donegal Celtic, Glentoran and Coleraine before signing for Carrick Rangers at the start of the season.
However, as he told the Times: “It just didn’t work out at Carrick. It was frustrating, I only started two games in six months. I didn’t think I had a fair crack at it.”
Maybe, though, being shut out of first-team action merely opened another door for the 28-year-old into the world of management and coaching. He had already been doing coaching badges and admits: “It’s an area I always wanted to get into. I’ve known Phil McMahon for years, and he was involved in clubs like Kilbride Swifts and Grove United where my brothers played. He knows the players and the league very well, and hopefully I’ll be able to bring a few in, just to strengthen the squad!”
While the new joint-manager started Saturday’s 7-1 home win, keeping a watching brief on the bench, he did come on in the second half to predictably open his 18th account, as did younger brother and other new signing, Glenn.
For 18th, after just one point from their previous 15, the visit of bottom club Groomsport was an ideal Christmas present to the new joint boss, although it did take Newtownabbey some 25 minutes to break them down but after that, the goals were in regular supply.
Jamie McTaggart scored a first half hat-trick before retiring with a back injury. The other marksmenwere Mark Conn and Ryan Greer.