Athlone Town this evening released a statement regarding the on-going confusion over who actually is the manager of the club.
They have announced that Portuguese coach Ricardo Monsanto is now First-team Manager, while Colin Fortune is First-team coach.
According to the statement, Monsanto’s UEFA A Licence seems to be a major factor.
Here is the club’s statement in full;
Athlone Town AFC would like to announce changes to the first team coaching set-up.
The club is delighted to confirm that respected Portuguese coach Ricardo Monsanto has been appointed as First Team Manager.
Ricardo is the holder of a UEFA A License, awarded to him by the Portuguese Football Association.
Colin Fortune has assumed a new role of Head Coach and will continue to provide the sterling service he has given Athlone Town AFC on and off the field over many years.
Coaches Ricardo Cravo, also from Portugal, and Gavin Drummond are also on board and will play their part as part of the backroom team.
The changes take effect from today (Thursday March 9th) however it is important to note that the coaching staff have been working well together since the start of the season.
To date this coaching structure has greatly aided the blending in of the first team squad’s locally based players with those who have come in from Europe.
The changes have been brought about as part of the club’s on going efforts to improve results and player performance on the field of play.
The Football Association of Ireland have been formally notified of the changes.
The club has no doubt that our senior coaching staff will continue to work both with each other and the players to build on our positive opening to the 2017 First Division season.
The club asks that all genuine fans of Athlone Town AFC give their full support to the management team and playing staff particularly in our upcoming games against neighbours Longford Town.
The club face into a midlands Derby at Lissywollen tomorrow night as they face Longford Town coached by former Athlone coach Alan Matthews.