McNamara and ex-Owl Donnelly take on York job

Jackie McNamara.
Jackie McNamara.
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Jackie McNamara admitted his excitement at the challenge ahead of him at York City, having been appointed the club’s new manager yesterday.

McNamara was previously in charge of Dundee United and began his managerial career at Partick Thistle.

He is joined by assistant manager Simon Donnelly – the former Sheffield Wednesday player – with McNamara pointing out that the board’s clear ambition helped attract them to the club.

He said: “I think a lot of things are exciting about the challenge ahead. There’s ambition, having spoken to the chairman and the rest of the board, including the new stadium in the next couple of years. That’s a thing to build on.

“A lot of things have drawn me to it. The biggest thing is the connection with the family and how I came about speaking to them, and their enthusiasm to do well here.

“There’s things to improve on, there always are. League Two is different to how it used to be, but me and Simon have experience playing in England. This is a new, fresh challenge and we’re very excited about it.

“I was very open minded about it – when I came down and looked at it and spoke to the chairman and the board, it really whet my appetite. I think that’s the biggest thing.

“They all had the same beliefs and ambitions as myself to do well and change it. They’ve put so much time and effort into it. That came across in the interview with me. I think it’s a good fit for both of us.”

McNamara joins the Minstermen with the club 22nd in League Two, and the manager admitted that the current focus is picking up points to ensure that the club stay in the Football League.

When asked about his footballing philosophy, he said: “At the present time, it’s to win.

“We also need to play attractive football and have people looking forward to watching us play.”

McNamara moved to United after leading Partick Thistle to second in the Scottish First Division. He initially impressed, signing a new four-year contract with the Scottish Premier League side in February 2014. However, results this season were poor, with the Terrors only winning one game in the league prior to his dismissal on September 26.

The 42-year-old had a spell playing in England at Wolves.