PADDY CONNOLLY has announced his departure from Alloa Athletic.

The veteran assistant manager has been a staple of the Recs for the past 13 years, standing in during periods in between managers.

It is understood Connolly departs Alloa to help balance time with his family and also manage new work commitments at his day job.

Andy Allan, chairman of Alloa, said: “To have spent 13 years at one club in football is an outstanding achievement for anyone, especially when you consider the ‘job security’ in today’s game.

“That alone speaks to the character and ability of Paddy, never mind the outstanding results on the park that has seen Alloa punch above its weight in the period of time Paddy has been with us.

“Paddy told us that his day job had given him more responsibilities and he couldn’t balance time watching his son with all his current commitments so it is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to a certified Alloa legend.”

Connolly was brought in to Alloa when he joined Paul Hartley, who he knew from their days at St Johnstone.

He helped usher in a great period of success for the club, seeing them to back-to-back promotions as they rose from the Third Division to the new Scottish Championship.

Connolly served as assistant manager to Hartley, stepping into the dugout for the first time himself after his departure.

From there, he would work alongside Barry Smith, Danny Lennon, Jack Ross, Jim Goodwin, Peter Grant, Barry Ferguson, Brian Rice and most recently Andy Graham.

Andy Graham said: “To be in the dugout for well over 500 games, 13 years at one club in this day and age is absolutely incredible and that’s testament to Paddy’s character.

“He has worked under so many different managers but I can only speak from my own personal experience and losing Paddy will be a big blow.

“Paddy was extremely loyal and someone who would always give his opinion but most importantly would then wholeheartedly support the final decision whether it agreed with him or not, a skill that isn’t as easy as it sounds.

“Paddy informed me of his change of his circumstances just before pre-season and while we are gutted to lose him, it’s also important we respect his decision especially after the service he’s shown to Alloa Athletic.

“On behalf of everyone connected with Alloa, we thank Paddy for everything he has done for Alloa in his time and wish him all the best for the future.”

With Connolly’s departure and also that of goalkeeping coach Robert Glen, Graham has been hard at work rebuilding his back-room staff.

Niall Marshall joined the team last season as a coach and will now be joined by former Wasps Graeme Holmes and Neil Parry as coach and goalkeeping coach.

Graham added: “We have to now look forward and I’m delighted to announce that a familiar face to many Alloa fans Graeme Holmes will become a part of the coaching staff.

“Niall Marshall, Graeme Holmes and Neil Parry will be a very good team for me to work with and hopefully be part of a successful season.”