Finn Harps could be in a position to appoint a new manager within a fortnight.
The club will begin interviewing candidates on Tuesday of next week and those interviews are expected to continue over Wednesday and Thursday.
All going well, it’s thought Harps hope to be able to confirm an appointment the following week.
Eleven candidates will be invited for interview next week. There had been 12 applications for the manager’s job but one of those applicants did not have the relevant coaching qualifications needed for the position.
Among the most high profile applicants are former West Ham United and England full-back, Julian Dicks and former Sligo Rovers manager, Don O’Riordan.
Other names that have been confirmed are Sean Connor (formerly of Bohs and Sligo Rovers) and Sean Wizard McGowan. Declan Devine, who parted company with Derry City last week, is not thought to be among the candidates.
It’s understood one of the other applicants has experience of managing in a European league, at a higher level than the League of Ireland.
Harps captain, Kevin McHugh says the sooner a new manager is in place, the better it will be for the club ahead of the new season.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen but as long as they go with someone who has plenty of experience, I’ll be happy enough,” he said yesterday.
“To be honest, there was a decent squad of players there last season and with a bit of strengthening, I don’t think we’d be too far away from having a team that could challenge in this division.
“So it makes it vital that a new man is appointed sooner rather than later and then we can knuckle down and start planning for next season.”
McHugh is one of only a handful of players under contract for the 2014 campaign. “I’ve another year left on my contract and I’ll be here next season,” he said. He added that the new manager’s first duties will be to speak to the squad and get more players signed up ahead of the new campaign.