The hunt for Allan Moore’s successor has entered its second week. Managers as far as Finland have been touted for the possibly vacancy at Cappielow, but for the time being, nobody has signed on the dotted line.
The task that lies ahead for the new manager is a daunting on, to say the least. The Greenock side currently find themselves rock bottom of the Scottish Championship, managing to secure only two wins so far this season. The 5-1 home defeat to fellow relegation candidates, Livingston, signalled the end of Allan Moore’s three and a half year stay at Cappielow; a decision many ‘Ton supporters felt should have been made many weeks beforehand.
The decision as to who will replace Moore will be the sixth managerial appointment made under chairman, Douglas Rae, and arguably be the most important he’ll ever have to make. Out of the seven years Morton have been in the Championship since their promotion back in 2007, this could, financially, be the worst season for the club to be relegated. With the potential of having The Rangers 2012, Dunfermline, Hearts of Midlothian, and possibly one other large Premier League side in the Championship next season, the money generated from home ties is something Morton cannot miss out on.
Chairman, Douglas Rae, is aware of the possible financial gain and has stated it was one of the main reasons why he has terminated the contract of good friend, Allan Moore. But who will take the hot seat at Cappielow? Who is willing to take a job some call ‘a poisoned chalice’? Currently sitting in the dugout is Youth Team manager, David Hopkin, who, according to local bookmakers, is favourite to take the position permanently.
The reaction by supporters when hearing that Hopkin could, potentially, take the managerial position was reacted with negativity, more than positivity. Although the ex-Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Leeds, Bradford and Morton midfielder has the experience of playing at the highest level, the lack of first-team managerial experience the forty-three year old has is why the doubt lies on his possible appointment.
The name Colin Cameron wasn’t a name many ‘Ton supporters had thought of when they drew up their own personal shortlist, however when Cameron shocked the country by resigning from his position as manager at Central Park, fans and bookmakers alike added two and two together and came to the conclusion that the ex-Hibernian midfielder could be Cappielow bound.
After taking the managerial assistant role at Cowdenbeath alongside Jimmy Nicholl, Cameron was eventually appointed manager of the Blue Brazil in the summer of 2011, where he would lead his side to Second Division glory, before defying all the odds and keeping the small, part-time team in the First Division during the 2012/13 season. However, a poor start to the 2013/14 season has seen the forty-one year old resign.
A more familiar name with the Scottish game is Kenny Shiels; a manager who only yesterday announced his desire to become the new Morton manager. Sheils exclusively revealed to the Greenock Telegraph that he is interested in the vacant position at Scappa’ and, as a result, has applied for the job. The controversial figure of Shiels is best known for his time at Kilmarnock, where he incredibly guided his side to League Cup glory, beating European giants Celtic in the final.
Although some may feel the way he conducts himself around the press, or the way he deals with the SFA is something not needed at Cappielow, what is most definitely needed is results; something I feel Kenny Shiels will bring to the club. His no nonsense approach to player handling, and his attractive style of football is something Greenock Morton FC have been missing for quite some time, but does Douglas Rae feel he’s the right man for the job?
Marko Rajamaki, Jimmy Calderwood, Barry Smith, Ian Murray. The list of possible replacements will continue to grow the longer the position remains open. As already stated, the task facing the new manager is intimidating, but a task many will see as a challenge they want to face. Chairman, Douglas Rae, has said he will not be rushed into making an appointment, however the sooner a manager is appointed, the sooner Morton’s season can be saved.