The Imps have suffered a shock exit today, as assistant head coach Mike Garrity has left to join Queens Park Rangers.
The Hoops, linked with Gareth Ainsworth this week, have appointed Neil Critchley as their new manager. Critchley was the manager Garrity worked under at Blackpool, and he’s come back to get his man in his new role.
A short statement from the Imps read;
“Mike Garrity has joined Queens Park Rangers as their assistant head coach after the London side met the release clause in his contract.
“Garrity, who arrived at the Imps in the summer, will join the Sky Bet Championship side where he will be reunited with Neil Critchley – having worked with the new Rangers boss in Liverpool’s Academy and at Blackpool.
“Everyone at City would like to thank Mike for his contribution during his time at the club and wish him all the best for his new role.
“The recruitment process for an assistant head coach to work with Mark Kennedy and the existing coaching team is already underway.”
This is a blow to City – there’s clearly a degree of compensation which is positive, but Garrity’s capture was something of a coup, and I understand he is a popular figure around the EPC. Mark Kennedy has referenced him several times in post-match interviews, and his experience will be a loss to the club.
On the positive side, we have clearly protected ourselves with the release clause, not something you usually read about an assistant, which shows keen business sense. My concern here is what I call the Neil McDonald effect – Peter Jackson’s Imps with McDonald as assistant were great, but things changed when he left.
Also, having one body fewer on the training ground will be a blow in the short term. I feel the club is in a good position in terms of recruitment and it sounds as if this isn’t entirely unexpected. Also, Mark Kennedy didn’t bring Garrity in because he’d worked with him before, so it’s not as if a ‘dream duo’ is being broken up.
Obviously we wish Mike all the best, and if his new team have another Ebere Eze or Ilias Chair they want to loan out, then hopefully he know where to place them!