Former Southend United defender Mark McNally helps mastermind Greenock's shock win at Celtic (From Echo)
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Former Southend United defender Mark McNally helps mastermind Greenock's shock win at Celtic
A FORMER Southend United defender was instrumental in securing one of the greatest ever upsets in Scottish football history last week.
Former Shrimpers centre-back Mark McNally is now assistant manager of Championship club Greenock Morton.
And he is still beaming after helping to mastermind their unbelievable 1-0 win at Premier League champions Celtic.
“Nobody gave us a chance there but it was fantastic and we were able to get a memorable win,” said McNally, who made 56 appearances during a two-year spell with the Shrimpers.
“We went there not wanting to take a hiding and, although we rode our luck at times, the players were brilliant.
“It was the first time Greenock had won at Celtic since 1971 and it was a memorable night for me too because before playing for Southend I was with Celtic between the ages of 12 and 25, so it was nice to win on my return.”
McNally played 122 times for Celtic’s first team but is now enjoying the coaching side of the game.
The 42-year-old first worked with Greenock boss Allan Moore at Stirling Albion where, together, they won two promotions.
And McNally is enjoying his role in the dug-out.
“I’ve always been involved in football and I enjoy being a coach,” said McNally. “Allan and I get on well, we’re very close and we’re very much a partnership, so I’m quite happy doing what I’m doing.”
But McNally does miss playing and revealed he looks back at his time at Roots Hall with great fondness.
“Coming to Southend from Celtic was a breath of fresh air and we had a good team there,” said McNally, “Ronnie Whelan was the manager and we had some really big characters in the squad at the time too.
“I still keep an eye out for their results and I hope things can improve for them soon.”
McNally added he still sees his former Shrimpers team-mate Andy Thomson quite regularly and was particularly keen to see how the club progressed while Paul Sturrock was in charge.
“Paul was my manager at Dundee United so I took great interest when he went to Southend and obviously before him was Steve Tilson who was my team-mate at Southend,” said McNally.
“I had a few links with the club until quite recently but it’s a great club with great fans and I have fond memories of my time there.”