Ballymena and Ports seeking new bosses

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David Jeffrey spent 17 years as Linfield manager, before stepping down in April 2014

Ballymena United will continue their pursuit of David Jeffrey as their new manager this week, while Portadown are seeking a successor to Ronnie McFall.

Jeffrey held preliminary discussions with Sky Blues officials last week and talks are ongoing amid reports that the parties are close to agreeing a deal.

United sacked Glenn Ferguson last week following five straight league defeats.

Long-serving Ports boss McFall resigned on Saturday after his side lost 3-2 to Lurgan Celtic in the Irish Cup.

McFall was Europe’s longest-serving manager, having been at the helm at Shamrock Park for more than 29 years.

Ronnie McFall had been set to step down from his position as Portadown boss at the end of the season

Pat McGibbon, who is presently employed by the club in a role of physiotherapist, is a possible contender to succeed McFall, along with the club’s former striker Matthew Tipton, currently a player at Ballymena United.

Tipton, 35, has been linked with the job in recent months following the announcement in November that McFall intended to step down at the end of the season.

Jeffrey left Linfield at the end of the 2013-14 season after a 17-year managerial tenure which yielded a remarkable haul of 31 trophies.

United officials are hopeful that they can persuade the 53-year-old to take up the reins at the Showgrounds after a two-year sabbatical.

Ballymena sit ninth in the Premiership table, just five points above in-form basement club Warrenpoint Town, with a trip to face league leaders Crusaders to come on Saturday.

Portadown are just three points better off, with both clubs in the unusual position of trying to stave off possible relegation, while also chasing a shot at securing European football through the newly introduced play-off system.

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