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Football: THE FIREFIGHTER; He's the Irish League's answer to Red Adair.. now Beckett wants to make Stute flaming brilliant.


INSTITUTE unveiled Liam Beckett - the Irish League's 'Red Adair' - as their new manager yesterday afternoon.

Beckett, who has earned a reputation as a problem-solving boss who improves the fortunes of his clubs, shook hands on a three-year deal after a meeting with club officials on Monday night.

And just like Adair - a famed oil-rig firefighter and hero of the 1960s and '70s - Beckett hopes to help Institute extinguish the flames of concern that currently surround the north-west club.

"It's no secret that Institute have been in free-fall in recent weeks," said Beckett.

"It is my job to stop the rot, but I am well used to that because I peformed similar jobs at Cliftonville and Ballymoney United.

"Cliftonville were a struggling club when I joined them in 2004 and I helped turn things around."I did the same thing when I was with Ballymoney and I want to do a similar job at Institute. This is the kind of job I relish.

"Someone jokingly called me Red Adair yesterday. I don't know about that, but I know my aim is to turn around the fortunes of Institute in the short term and see the club make progress in the long term."

Institute are currently third from bottom of the Carnegie Premier League and have conceded 27 goals in just nine fixtures this campaign - the worst record in the division.

That recent form, including just one win in nine domestic games, prompted French man Pascal Vaudequin's exit from the club 10 days ago.

The Institute board have moved swiftly to appoint Beckett after an interview process that involved nine applicants, including two from the mainland.

"I'm delighted to be appointed," said Beckett.

"I am glad to be back in football and I can't wait to get started. It is a big job and I would love to stay at this club for many, many years. That is my aim."

Beckett, who won Irish League titles with both Crusaders and Coleraine in the early-1970s, also believes the success of neighbouring Derry City in the eircom League has "thrown down the gauntlet" to Stute.

"Derry City have done really well this season and I'm pleased for them," he said.

"Their success has sent out a challenge to us to make a similar name for ourselves in the Irish League.

"Derry have thrown down the gauntlet and it would be nice to prove that there are two good teams in Londonderry."

Beckett held a team meeting with players last night and is ready to "give everyone a chance to prove themselves" before the transfer window opens in January.

"All I want is a team giving its all for Institute and I also want to build a team that the people of Drumahoe can identify with," he said.

Ironically, Beckett kicks off his reign as Institute manager with forthcoming games against Coleraine this weekend and Cliftonville the following Saturday.

"It was written that I would face Coleraine - a club I won many medals with as a player - and Cliftonville in my first two games," he said.

"Both those clubs have given me many good memories in football. But that's all they are, memories.

"I am with Institute now and that is my only concern now."


PASC HIS BEST: Vaudequin; BECK IN THE HARNESS: Liam Beckett; BLAZE HERO: Red Adair
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 23, 2005
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