Former Dundalk FC player Paul Johnston is new General Manager of Oriel Park

LOCAL man Paul Johnston is set to take over the day-to-day running for matters at Oriel Park after being appointed Dundalk FC's new General Manager on Thursday.

LOCAL man Paul Johnston is set to take over the day-to-day running for matters at Oriel Park after being appointed Dundalk FC's new General Manager on Thursday.

A former player with the Lilywhites, Johnston has been involved behind the scenes with the club for the past three-and-a-half years in his role as Club Promotions Officer.

Businessman Gerry Matthews, who had been running the club for the past few years, is set to retain his seat on the board and his title as CEO but is planning to concentrate on other activities behind the scenes going forward.

Speaking after being appointed to his new position last week, Johnston told The Dundalk Democrat that he was looking forward to helping the club continue the strong development they had made in recent years.

He said: "The club at the minute is very vibrant but my job as general manager will be to look at areas of expansion. The key role will be to financially make the club viable and explore ways to make it more secure.

"In addition I'll be working on developing first team activities and developing the club's Youth Development Centre."

Johnston's new role means he will be stepping aside from his role as Club Promotions Officer but he insists he hopes to continue the good work that he did in that area.

"I'll still be working on the community aspect and perhaps even moreso now that we have the Youth Development Centre. It's a great chance to link schools with the club and there will be a big emphasis on that in the next year.

"There will be someone else appointed to my old position and that will be advertised in the coming weeks," he said.

On a personal level, Johnston said he was delighted to have such a prestigious position at his hometown club, having worked in his previous role for the past three-and-a-half years.

"I am delighted to be offered the position and the job is something I'm really looking forward to.

"I've seen the club grow phenomenally in my time here and even before that and the goal for me is to continue that growth.

"We have great fans and structures here and there is a great opportunity with the Youth Development Centre which no other club in Ireland has."

Gerry Matthews wished Paul well in his new role and said: "Everyone is delighted with the appointment."