Newtongrange star appoint Smith and Rafferty as co-managers

New Newtongrange Star co-managers Kenny Rafferty and Darren Smith (picture: Newtongrange Star)
New Newtongrange Star co-managers Kenny Rafferty and Darren Smith (picture: Newtongrange Star)

Newtongrange Star have appointed Darren Smith and Kenny Rafferty as co-managers after they duo left Dalkeith Thistle last weekend.

Smith and Rafferty have a burgeoning reputation in management after guiding Tranent to a Cup double in 2016/17, winning the Fife and Lothians Cup and East of Scotland Cup.

A statement on the Star’s Twitter page, said: “Newtongrange Star are delighted to announce the appointment of Darren Smith and Kenny Rafferty as co-managers of the first team. President Joe Wilson was on hand to welcome them both to the club.”

The pair left Tranent just six months after their double cup triumph, citing “non-footballing reasons” behind their departure, with Smith going to Newtongrange Star to team up with former Musselburgh boss Stevie McLeish, while Rafferty took a break from the game.

At the end of last May they teamed up again and were announced as Dalkeith co-managers and leave the club in seventh in the East of Scotland League Conference B just two points off fifth and a promotion place.

A statement on Dalkeith’s website said: “The club is disappointed to announce that co-managers Darren Smith and Kenny Rafferty have resigned from the club.

“We would like to thank them for all their efforts this season and wish them well for the future.

The club will now begin the process of looking for a new management team as we continue to challenge for a fifth place promotion spot.

Smith and Rafferty head to the Star taking over from Colin Affleck and Jamie Birrell who had handled first-team affairs at the club after Stevie McLeish sensationally quit Nitten back in January after two and a half years in the role.

The Star sit fourth in the East of Scotland Conference A six points off leaders Penicuik Athletic having played three games more.

Smith tweeted: “Just want to say a big thank you to everyone involved at Dalkeith Thistle for their support and effort over mine and Raff’s time at the club - great people and wish everyone all the best - great bunch of boys and I’m sure they will stick together and finish the season well.” ⚽️