McCartney up for challenge as he succeeds Beggs at Nortel

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Lee McCartney is Nortel’s new man at the helm, in succession to Ricky Beggs who has stepped down after just a few months in his latest stint back in the hot-seat.

Nortel have lost seven of their last eight, including five league matches on the spin; their only victory coming in a Clarence Cup clash with nine-man Ardglass on December 6.

The Factory side were still in with a chance of winning the Premier Division going into the final week of last season, before ending up in fifth slot. Then boss Paul Foy left the club, leaving the door open for Beggs to return.

While a few of last year’s squad set off for pastures new in the summer, Beggs brought in some players with Championship experience, such as Mark Wilkinson, Glenn Hand and Jonathon Gilliland – and the team got off to a flyer, with 10 points from their first 12. However, the last league win was back on October 11 and since then is has all gone decidedly pear-shaped.

McCartney came to the club during the reign of Jamesy Kirk and, for the last few years, he has been in charge of the second-team, taking them to a Walter Moore Cup semi-final last term and to second place in Division 3B. His assistant with the seconds, Alan Brown, is also moving up into the first-team ‘think tank’ and he’s hopeful that John McConnell, Beggs’ number two, will also stay on board.

Read the full story in this week’s Times. Available from today (December 23).