Having served the club as both a player and a manager, Jamesy Kirk is now plotting Ballyclare Comrades’ downfall in this season’s Steel and Sons Cup, writes John Gillespie.
There will be no room for sentiment when Kirk, who was boss at Dixon Park for eight years, leads his PSNI side against his hometown team in the opening round of the competition this weekend.
After a successful spell with Amateur League side Nortel, Kirk got the call to be assistant to Gavin Arthur at Newforge before taking over in the summer.
Now he finds himself going head-to-head with Reds’ boss Eddie Hill - key player during his tenure at the Comrades.
“The Steel Cup always ranks high in my estimation and it’s one that has evaded me as a manager,” said Kirk.
“It’s very early in the season and teams don’t have themselves in a rhythm. Usually teams get a handy enough draw in the first round or two to get themselves up and running in the competition. But I think ourselves and Ballyclare both wouldn’t have wanted this tie so early.”
“There will be no sentiment at all. PSNI are my current team and I will be 100 per cent focused on what we do. After the game, certainly, there are good friends of mine playing and in the management at Ballyclare. We’ll keep the sentiment until after the game.
“One of us won’t be happy after it, but I’m just interested in what we do in the match.”