Former Irish League boss Gary Boyle feels he has 'learnt' from Newry City experience and is ready to help hometown club Warrenpoint Town achieve success

Former Newry City boss Gary Boyle says an opportunity to return to coaching with hometown club Warrenpoint Town was “too good to turn down” and is hoping to help deliver similar success he enjoyed as a player after being appointed to interim manager John Gill’s backroom staff.
Warrenpoint Town announced the arrival of Gary Boyle as a coach on Tuesday morning.Warrenpoint Town announced the arrival of Gary Boyle as a coach on Tuesday morning.
Warrenpoint Town announced the arrival of Gary Boyle as a coach on Tuesday morning.

Boyle took over at the Newry Showgrounds from Darren Mullen ahead of the 2023/24 season, but departed after their 4-0 Boxing Day defeat to Glenavon with them sitting bottom of the Premiership table.

The 36-year-old, who had served as assistant to club legend Mullen for six years before taking on the top job, won three and picked up three draws in his 23 league matches in charge with his side performing admirably in a number of games against top-six opposition.

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However, two weeks to the day from his resignation, Boyle is back in the Irish League with Warrenpoint, who lost manager Barry Gray to Newry with the ex-Cliftonville boss taking over the vacant post, and he feels refreshed after the experience.

“I needed to reset after the way things ended at Newry and it wasn't the plan to get straight back in,” he admitted. “I’ve said all along that you're probably at your most attractive in times of success or indeed in times of failure, so there were a few nibbles, but I wasn't really interested and was going to take a break with my family.

“It was a time of reflection and I've definitely learnt from the experience. It's good in life or football to have that bit of reflection and time to think outside of the pressurised cauldron that managing at that level brought. Although it hasn't been that long, I feel refreshed and as if I'm ready to go.

“When this opportunity arose and with the vision and exciting project that it is at my hometown club and the chance to go back there, it just felt that it was right and too good to turn down.

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“It came about very quickly. John got in touch and I had a few meetings with him over the last week or so and both parties felt like it was a good move. The club are where they are and certainly looking to build back up. I'm delighted to be part of that rebuild and hoping to bring success.”

Boyle was part of the Warrenpoint side that earned a historic maiden Premiership promotion in 2013 under Gray as they defeated Donegal Celtic on away goals in a play-off after finishing second in Championship One.

They are now trying to fight their way back to that level once again after being demoted from the Championship ahead of this current campaign due to licencing issues and Boyle can see similar traits between the two squads.

“The journey that the club was on at that time was phenomenal and I have a lot of family connections there, a lot of personal relationships in the club and it was a really special time when I was playing there,” he said. “I'm certainly looking to bring those memories back that culminated with a play-off win against Donegal Celtic that night to get to the Premiership which was like the promised land.

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“This group has a bit of that feel about it whereby you're defying the odds and trying to come back up through the leagues. We'll be looking to bring some of those memories I experienced as a player into my time as a coach."

Gill’s side impressed on Saturday by taking a shock 2-0 lead against Premiership leaders Linfield in their Irish Cup fifth round tie at Windsor Park before ultimately losing out 4-2.

They sit fourth in what is a hotly-contested Premier Intermediate League with Limavady United, Queens University, Ballymacash Rangers and Warrenpoint only separated by four points at the top, while the likes of Armagh City and Dollingstown are also still in the mix.

The Milltown outfit have lost just one of 10 matches to date and Boyle believes their weekend performance can help instil further belief for a hopeful title push.

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“I've been up watching them and certainly this year they seem to have a really good mix of youth and experience,” he added. “Saturday was a really good performance and if they had have kept the 2-0 lead until half-time they might have went into the second-half with a better chance.

“Linfield are a quality side and showed that in the second-half, but there were a lot of positives for Warrenpoint to bring into the league."