Grant McCann's former Northern Ireland teammate named new Doncaster Rovers Belles manager

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Grant McCann's former Northern Ireland teammate Ciaran Toner is the new Doncaster Rovers Belles manager.

Toner, a former midfielder who earned two caps for the Green and White Army during a 15-year playing career, holds the UEFA Pro licence - the highest coaching qualification - and was previously Under-18s boss at Rotherham United.

Toner played for teams including Leyton Orient, Lincoln City, Grimsby Town and Rochdale after graduating from Tottenham Hotspur's youth academy.

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He replaces Sam Winch and his assistant Alexandre Brito Nogueira, who were sacked last month after just ten games in charge.

Ciaran TonerCiaran Toner
Ciaran Toner

Toner said: “The Belles is a historic club. What I see now is a project of bringing the Belles back to where they belong.

“As a Pro License coach, I feel now is the right time to take on an ambitious project and this was a chance I just had to jump at.”

Belles are currently ninth in the Women's National League Division One North, three points clear of the relegation zone.

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They take on Rugby Borough in the first round of the FA Cup at the Iqbal Poultry Stadium tomorrow (1pm kick-off) but Toner will not take charge of the clash.

Belles strategic lead Chris Wood said: "Ciaran gave us a presentation that had real clarity on the path forwards and project ahead, along with a realistic plan to achieve this.

"Many of our viewpoints and visions aligned so I am excited as I look to the future. This is somebody that has the experience in developing players, is very innovative in his approach, is good person, and I am convinced he can take us to the next level."