CHIMNEY Corner have turned to a familiar face to help the club in its hour of need.
Shay Hamill admits that his love for the Allen Park club was the main factor in returning to Corner for a THIRD time in his career.
Hamill takes charge following the resignation of Sammy McVicker before Christmas with the brief of maintaining the Antrim side’s IFA Championship Two status.
“Chimney Corner is a club that is close to my heart and I wouldn’t see them left in the lurch,” Hamill told Times Sport.
The Ballymena man had a spell at Corner in the 1980s as assistant to Alex McKee and then occupied the hotseat from 2004 until 2007.
He arrives with the club a point behind Moyola Park at the bottom of the table in what is looking increasingly like a two-team scrap against relegation to one of the Province’s intermediate leagues.
“It’s not a dissimilar situation to when I arrived the last time.
“The main difference was that at that time, I was able to recruit players from Saturday Morning League clubs who would then also play in the afternoon - the ‘one player, one club’ rule puts paid to that.
“Loan deals also look unlikely because they only apply to professional players and we’re not paying our players, so it’s unlikley they’ll come to us.
“So we’re looking at players who have maybe been released by other clubs who are trying to freshen up their squads in the January transfer window.
“What we can offer players is a chance to play regularly, a heck of a challenge in lifting the club away from the foot of the table and the opportunity to put themselves in the shop window - those are our main selling points.”
Hamill will combine his role as Corner boss with his current coaching position with Saturday Morning League side All Saints Old Boys, who have emerged as a genuine threat to the traditional ‘big two’ of Carniny Rangers and Harryville Homers.
“All Saints train on different nights to Corner so there’s no clash there and I will do my utmost to be available for both teams on a Saturday.
“I’m not going to walk away from All Saints at this stage but at the same time, I don’t want to see Chimney Corner stuck either.
“The understanding I have with the chairman is that the club will advertise for a permanent manager and if something comes out of that, I will happily walk away.
“But until that happens, Chimney Corner have important games coming up.
“I took a training session last week and there’s certainly hard work to be done but the situation we find ourselves in isn’t insurmountable,” added Shay.
Hamill took charge of his first game against Wakehurst at the weekend and he will now focus on the games ahead in Corner’s battle for survival.