Jimmy Kerr has resigned as manager of East Kilbride Thistle, following the club’s relegation to Central District Division One last week. His assistant Tony Gallagher has followed him out the door after 19 months in charge at the Showpark.
Thistle under-21 coaches Brian McMillan and Mark Wilson will now take the reins on a permanent basis as the cash-strapped Jags revealed they knocked back ‘a number’ of applications for the job.
Club chairman John Drummond admitted he had handed Kerr and Gallagher a “thankless task” when they took over from Colin Mitchell in November 2010 and says he doesn’t blame them for quitting.
He told the News: “Jimmy and Tony have decided to part company with the club and I can’t really blame them for that. They knew when they took on the job how difficult it would be and, to be honest, they were handed a thankless task. We didn’t – and still don’t – have the money to compete at that level, but fair play to them because they took on the challenge. It’s just unfortunate that things didn’t work out. But they decided they would leave whether we stayed up or not, so relegation hasn’t played a part in their decision.
"I’m sad to see them go but we’ve got to look forward now and I’m happy to announce that Brian McMillan and Mark Wilson will take over from the start of the new season and we will see how things go from there. They have been coaching the under-21s so they know what players we have coming through and our committee agreed that it would be hard to put somebody else in the position we put Jimmy and Tony in a couple of years ago. So at least Brian and Mark know what they have to work with because we will have a full amateur team next season. The players really respect them so it’s great to have them take over. We did receive a number of applications for the job, but our committee agreed it would be best to give Brian and Mark the opportunity.”
McMillan is one of Thistle’s longest-serving members with over 25 years of service at the Showpark and Wilson, who joined the club two years ago, has a wealth of experience across East Kilbride’s amateur football scene. And they will take control knowing how tough a job Kerr and Gallagher had on their hands. Last season, under severe financial restraints, Kerr and Gallagher kept the Jags in Superleague Division One by the skin of their teeth. However, the lack of funds to bring in players cost them dear this season as a decimated squad finished in the bottom four.