Reshuffle at Athlone Town as Ricardo Monsanto confirmed first team manager
Published: March 09, 2017

SSE Airtricity League First Division pacesetters Athlone Town have clarified the Portuguese Ricardo Monsanto is first team manager with last season's boss Colin Fortune now head coach.


The former Fatima and Barreirense coach joined the backroom set-up in advance of the 2017 season but Fortune had continued to be named as manager for early season games.


The 38-year-old native of Lisbon holds a UEFA A Licence and was previously technical co-ordinator of the Lisbon Football Association.


Club stalwart Fortune, a nephew of the famous O’Connor brothers (Turlough, Michael and Padraig), assumes the new role of head coach.


Fortune spent two separate stints as an Athlone player and had been manager at LIssywollen since taking over from Alan Mathews in June of last year.


Monsanto and Fortune will continue to be assisted by another Portuguese coach, Ricardo Cravo, and Gavin Drummond.


A club statement read: “The changes take effect from Thursday March 9th. However, it is important to note that the coaching staff have been working well together since the start of the season.


“To date this coaching structure has greatly aided the blending in of the first team squad's locally based players with those who have come in from Europe.


“The changes have been brought about as part of the club's ongoing efforts to improve results and player performance on the field of play.


“The club has no doubt that our senior coaching staff will continue to work both with each other and the players to build on our positive opening to the 2017 First Division season.


“The club asks that all genuine fans of Athlone Town AFC give their full support to the management team and playing staff particularly in our upcoming games against neighbours Longford Town.”


Athlone have maximum points from their opening two league games and sit in second place, just behind UCD on goal difference.


The Town are at home to sixth-placed Longford on Friday night.

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John Manning

John Manning began writing for this year after retiring from the insurance industry. He has been a regular attendee at League of Ireland football matches since the 1970s. He has particularly supported Cork Hibs, Cork Celtic, Cork United, Cork City but has attended many other matches also.

He was formerly Webmaster of the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland website ( to which he still contributes. He is currently Webmaster of the International Pitch and Putt Association website (

John broadcast Pitch and Putt on the airwaves from 1994 to 2005 – on CKR, KFM, KCLR FM, Midlands Radio 3, Radio Kerry and Cork 103 FM.

John held many administrative posts within the sport of Pitch and Putt
· Treasurer Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland 1992-93
· Public Relations Officer Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland 1994 – 2005
· General Secretary European Pitch and Putt Association 2000 - 2010

John Manning was the Editor of ‘Backspin’ – official monthly magazine of the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland – between 1989 and 2005. He still currently contributes to ‘Backspin’.

He is a fervent supporter of the Republic of Ireland football team – home and sometimes away.

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