Gill approached over Dundalk return
Article by Kieran Burke - @KieranBTS
BetweenTheStripes.ie understands that former Dundalk FC manager, John Gill has been approached by the currently managerless ‘‘Lilywhites’’ regarding a return to Oriel Park, following the shock departure of Stephen Kenny. However, according to BetweenTheStripes.ie sources, any return to the County Louth club, which Gill led to First Division title success exactly a decade ago, would only be as a Director of Football, with current assistant manager, Vinny Perth the man Dundalk FC officials are set to put their faith in to guide last seasons double winners into the 2019 League of Ireland and UEFA Champions League campaigns.
Currently lacking the UEFA Pro license qualification required to take up a senior management role in the top-flight of Irish football, Dundalk FC chiefs are said to have been examining ways around such an obstacle that has blocked the champions from officially appointing Perth as Stephen Kenny’s successor. However, with John Gill a registered holder of a UEFA Pro license, a potential return for the clubs former manager would allow the Dundalk hierarchy to tick all the boxes in terms of UEFA and FAI licensing.
News of the clubs approach for Gill may come as a surprise to some, given the Dubliners controversial sacking from the club back in 2008. Having secured the First Division title on the most dramatic of final days, Gill would soon be replaced by Sean Connor in the Oriel Park hot-seat, leading Gill to slam the clubs board across various media outlets. However, it is important to note that Dundalk’s current owners are of course American based Peak 6, who only took control of the club less than twelve months ago.
The Dundalk managerial vacancy was always going to be an attractive prospect for out of work bosses, both at home and abroad, with the likes of Jimmy Floyd Hasslebank and Steve Staunton among the contenders, at least according to the bookmakers. However, it has been Gill who has seen his market price slashed in recent weeks and some online rumors even surfaced during the week that the club may make an announcement on its future managerial set-up over the weekend, however this is yet to materialize.
John Gill was in Cootehill, County Cavan on Saturday night to manage a Dundalk FC legends side, which contained names such as Chris Bennion, Dave Rogers and David Crawley, against Cootehill Harps legends in a charity match. It was the visitors who ran out 4-1 winners on a storm swept night in the Ulster county. With sources close to Oriel Park confirming that contact has indeed been made with Gill, speculation will now mount as to whether we can expect to see Gill involved with the club in a more official basis than the weekends lighthearted event in Cootehill for next season.