“Firstly, I would just like to say how appreciative I am for offering me the opportunity to present for you. I have always dreamt of being in a position like this since a little boy and realising that I didn’t have the required talent to become a footballer!
“I have worked so hard in every role and every situation I have been in to get to this point and it is a pleasure for you all to hear my proposals for the future of Cobh Ramblers.”
“To kick things off I would like to introduce you to my career so far, beginning from higher education. I was born in Liverpool, I’m 22 years old this September and born from a Northern Irish mother and an Irish father who emigrated to England a few years before I was born.
“I spent my main education in Liverpool as well as my time in college at the City of Liverpool College, studying Business Management. This helped me improve my business acumen to the level required to finish with an A* grade following two years at college.
“I then moved onto university, having offers from all over the country and Northern Ireland including Durham University, University College London and the University of Liverpool. However, I actually opted to do my bachelor’s degree at the newly founded UCFB - University Campus of Football Business at Burnley’s Turf Moor location. The university had only opened in 2011 and it showed me a way into the footballing world in a manner that no other offer could.
“In the summer period between college and university I decided to take up studying my first coaching badge with the English FA and I finally received the National C License qualification in January 2017, using the spare time and holidays that I had between my degree to complete it in what I think is an impressive timescale.
“Throughout my studies I also took up a part-time role as a data analyst for the development team at Burnley Football Club, working alongside some fairly impressive players at one of the most up-and-coming player development centres in the country under Ian Woan and Jonathan Pepper. I impressed there whilst also doing well on my degree and I received what I would describe as a promotion as I became a part-time coach with the Under 18 side which came with a pay rise and an opportunity to utilise my coaching badges.
“I finished my bachelor’s degree with the highest qualification classification, achieving a First in my course: Football Business & Talent Development. This led to my next venture as I graduated in March this year, I moved back to Merseyside and I was hired as a full-time coach at Tranmere Rovers for the Under 23 side which I felt was a huge step in my development in this direction. Anyway, I have been a coach there for little over three months when I saw a sea of vacancies open up throughout the summer and here I am today!”
Upon arriving here today, I took the liberty to take a second look at the expectations of a manager here at St. Colman’s Park. Avoid finishing bottom - which looking at the table, it seems Wexford are certain to finish. I did find the proposed expectations a little too lightweight for my liking though, so I edited them to what I think I could manage to do if given the role as first-team manager.”
“Unlike your expectation for the club to avoid finishing bottom, I would aim to comfortably finish above that expectation. The promotion play-offs seem very distant at this point but regardless, I want to build a positive platform for the club to bounce off going into the next season.
“In the Ford Cup, I want to reach the Second Round no matter what, rather than be competitive with no real aims. In the Senior Munster Cup too, which was raised as unimportant in the original expectations, I want every competition to mean something to us, so I want us to be competitive in that competition too.
“I realise that in the transfer department you would like to be seen as open to as many different viewpoints as possible. With my background in youth coaching and my degree in talent development, I would like to add my personal philosophy of focusing on domestic youth signings to develop in the first-team proceedings.
“As a side-note, I also want this club to be operating in the top-half of the top-flight within five years and even be looking at European qualification.”
Michael Donovan: The initial contract that we will be placing you on will only be until the end of the ongoing season, so a six-month contract. Do you think that you will be able to hit the ground running to be able to earn that extension that you quite obviously would require?”
Conor McDonald: Absolutely, I feel like the tools I would have at my disposal on entering the position would be more than adequate to achieve the club’s and my own personal goals. From there, I want to rejig the club to suit my own philosophy and then I believe that is when I would have the framework to be able to really carve out a legacy here.
Michael Donovan: I did notice that you have ongoing applications elsewhere - mainly in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Would this be your number one target if you received offers from elsewhere?
Conor McDonald: Absolutely. So much so that I will remove myself from the running of the other roles this moment if requested to. This club has everything I would like in a starting position in management - a challenge. It would be completely fair to say in my opinion that Cobh haven’t really made much of a dent on the Premier League in its history. I want to change that with my philosophy - not to discredit former managers, it would mean a lot to me on a personal level and also to the club in a competitive manner.
Michael Donovan: And working for a club that has limited resources? How do you think you would cope with that?
Conor McDonald: Funnily enough that is something that I related to heavily in my final dissertation! I looked at how smaller clubs that don’t have much income other than gate receipts, season tickets and prize money can manage to stay afloat. It’s something that I have looked into in-depth previously and something that I could deal with perfectly well.
Michael Donovan: For yourself, would there be any requests dependent on you taking up the role?
Conor McDonald: I thought about this on my way over. No, just leading this club would be an honour enough to take the role, thank you.
Michael Donovan: Well Conor, thank you for coming over to us for this, it’s very much appreciated. As you can imagine, we have other candidates to interview so we will be in contact as soon as we come to a decision - one tip for you in the coming days, though: don’t look at the bookies odds!