Wallsend Boys Club product and former Newcastle United midfielder, Neil McDonald is the surprise choice to take over at Limerick FC.

His last job was as Head Coach at Hull City but left midway through this season when Mike Phelan lost the manager’s job.

Quite a high profile capture for the Irish club, as McDonald has a lot of experience in the English leagues.

The one-time Newcastle and Everton player has managed both Blackpool and Carlisle, plus been assistant to Sam Allardyce at both Bolton and Blackburn in the Premier League, as well as his time at Hull this season.

It is a bit of a surprise as earlier this week, the Irish media had understood it was down to a two horse between former Barnet Head Coach Kevin Nugent and Steve Watson, another former Newcastle player and product of Wallsend Boys Club.

Neil McDonald:

“I’m very impressed with the club and what they’re trying to do. I want to be a part of that and to push them onto a new level. That’s why I’ve come to the club on a long-term project.

“At the end of the day, the team has to win. That’s my job. Trying to play exciting football of course, but I want winning football.

“It’s the first time in my career that I’ve signed a contract of this length. It shows I’m committed and shows the club has faith in me to bring the club where it wants to go.

“It’s always a slow process, to get better over time, but the contract gives me that cushion to achieve it.

“I’m here to live. I’ll move across as quick as I can. I’m looking forward to that. My family are comfortable with it. Hopefully they can sample Ireland too.

“There are no distractions for me either. I can focus on football completely – getting to games and getting home when I need to get home.

“I’m pretty confident I can adjust. I haven’t just worked in the Premiership, I’ve worked in the lower leagues too. I’ve been a youth coach as well. It’ll take me time, but I’m confident I can adjust.

“I’ll get to know the league as quickly as I can, so I’ll be putting in a lot of miles to watch the games. I’m not just a Premiership coach, I’m a football coach.

“We’re three points off the European spot at the minute, so I don’t see why not.

“Step by step, I’ll introduce my stamp on things and hopefully the players implement that on the football pitch. Europe is achievable.

“I have been given permission to bring an assistant in. The wheels are in motion for an assistant to come in.

“I can’t tell you who that is now but hopefully we’ll all work together to improve the football club and get them where they want to be.”