BARRY Tracey is embarking on a new challenge at Donaghmore, but his four-year spell at Owen Roes leaves behind a trail of memories that will last a life-time.
He guided Owen Roes to a Division Three title in 2017, but what made the biggest impact on Tracey personally was the way the club rallied around him when his father Peter passed away in May 2019.
That informed his decision to stay on for a fourth and final year, but now was the right time to step aside and he’s been snapped up by top-flight outfit Donaghmore.
Tracey said, “My father passed away last May but they rallied around my family, the club was so good to us. My wife Julie’s parents passed away around the same time and they really went above and beyond to help us.
“Three years was long enough really but they were so good during a horrible time.
“We reached the play-offs last season and were beaten by Loughmacrory by a point – I could’ve left it there but I spoke to the players and decided to give it another year.
“It turned out to be a difficultseason with Cathal [McShane] thinking about going to Australia and then getting injured after he decided to stay, and the lockdown period obviously wasn’t straightforward either.”
Another reason why Tracey decided the time was right was his reluctance to manage against his home club Greencastle, whom he managed before heading to Owen Roes.
Fate conspired that they were soon housed in the second division, and they were on a possible collision course in this year’s championship only Gortin knocked out Owen Roes after extra-time in a keenly contested first-round tie.
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE