|Weir walks out to take Brechin job The Courier|
JIM WEIR was last night unveiled as the new manager of Brechin City.In a surprise move, City have turned to Weir— manager of relegated local rivals Arbroath—to succeed Jim Duffy in the Glebe Park hotseat after twice overlooking him previously.
Weir was a strong contender for the City job 16 months ago only to be pipped by Duffy. He had missed out to his predecessor Michael O’Neill as well. But after poring over the applications they’d received for the post the Brechin directors reckoned he was the man to fill the post this time, even though he’d not thrown his hat in the ring.
“We were extremely impressed by Jim the last twice he was in the running for the job and, much as we think we picked the right candidate on both those occasions, it was such a close call that when the vacancy arose again we knew he was the man we wanted,” said chairman Ken Ferguson.
“When it came to the criteria we had, he ticked all the boxes.“So it was a case of— there’s a good man there, let’s see if he is available.”
There was no contractual stumbling block to landing Weir as he was operating without a legally-binding deal at Gayfield.
However, City still formally approached Arbroath for permission to speak to their manager—something the Lichties, however angry they are at losing Weir, appreciated.
“It has been a bit awkward for all parties concerned,” said Ferguson.“But we’re grateful to John Christison for the manner in which he handled things and I hope this hasn’t caused a problem between the clubs.” The relationship between the teams will survive this episode.
There is, though, considerable upset within the Gayfield boardroom over Weir and his assistant Kevin McGowne deciding to quit —especially after they remained 100% behind the pair despite relegation to division three and had been led to believe they were entirely committed for next term.
In his defence, though, the new City boss insisted he had genuinely agonised over whether to make the move across Angus.
“I was away in Pitlochry whitewater rafting with Kevin and some of his cousins when I got the call saying Brechin were interested,” he revealed.
“And the 48 hours since have been turbulent to say the least.
“It’s been a very, very difficult decision to make. I didn’t sleep a wink after meeting Brechin on Sunday.
“And it was 4.30am today when I was up walking the dogs before I finally settled on what I should do.
“It was a tough choice. I had a fantastic time at Arbroath. I have nothing but respect for the board there and the group of players I worked with.
“And I understand the club’s disappointment.
“But the important thing for me is that I gave them everything I could as their manager and now I’ll look to do the best I can for Brechin City.
“That means building a team capable of producing a style of football that supporters like but also capable of winning games.
“There’s no doubt the second division will be very difficult next year, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.” Weir admitted he hadn’t seen the chance to manage City coming.
“It’s been well publicised that I’d been in the running for the Brechin job twice before,” he said. “When I missed out I just took the view that things happen for a reason. “This time I didn’t apply for the job—but it’s turned out third time lucky.”
With McGowne joining Weir at Glebe Park, Kevin McAllister, who had been assistant manager at the club, now follows Duffy out the door.
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