GAVIN Dykes has resigned as manager of Castlebar Celtic. The Sligo man stepped down yesterday (Monday) morning, and the club committee met last night to put a temporary management team in place for next Thursday’s Chadwicks Cup meeting with Westport United.
“There was no pressure from the committee,” Celtic chairman Gerry Walsh confirmed to The Mayo News. “Reluctantly we have to accept Gavin’s resignation. He has raised the profile of the club, brought us to two Junior Cup semi-finals and into the FAI Senior Cup twice, which is no mean feat. We also won the Super League and the AIB Cup during his time here. We’re sorry to see him go.”
Dykes, who took over the position in April 2005, also took charge as Celtic enjoyed a successful inaugural season in the Eircom Under-21 League last year. However, Celtic have recently been told they will not be allowed to participate in the forthcoming Under-20 League, and it’s believed that ruling played a major part in Dykes’s decision to step down.
The former Finn Harps and Derry City boss considered resigning earlier this year after his side lost the FAI Junior Cup semi-final, and wondered aloud whether he had taken the side as far as he could. Announcing his intention to stay on, he cited the club’s plans to participate in national competitions as one of his reasons for remaining at the helm. With Celtic and other non-League of Ireland clubs forbidden from participating in the Under-20 League, those ambitions are now disrupted. Gerry Walsh admitted that the FAI ruling regarding the Under-20 League was ‘a huge disappointment’ and had played a part in Dykes’s decision.
Celtic’s long Junior Cup campaign means they have played just four Super League matches this season, but suffered a defeat at home to league leaders Snugboro United last Sunday week. Despite leading 3-0 against Ballyheane on Saturday night, they eventually had to settle for a 4-4 draw, and now find themselves fourth from bottom in the table.
Declan Kilkelly, who led Celtic to an FAI Youth Cup title last year, is considered by many to be the favourite to succeed Dykes.