JUNIOR boss James McKenna’s dreams of proving himself the real deal at Shettleston Juniors have been left shattered after he and co-gaffer Keith Docherty were unceremoniously sacked on Sunday morning.

It is hard to think of any other football manager in recent times to have received the old heave ho after just 36 days in charge and particularly when one considers the squad of players brought together by the cousins during this all too short period at the helm have yet to kick a ball in action…friendly or otherwise… even Sam Allardyce has a 1-0 victory over Slovakia to look back on from his brief tenure as England manager.

Yet this sensational parting of the ways may not have come as a total shock to experienced campaigner 'Cotter' as Evening Times Sport has discovered a war of words had been simmering away in the background between him and Town supremo Hugh Kelly who along with his former Greenfield Park No.2 Bernie Beacom were helping form the new-look management team.

Now it’s unclear what will happen with a raft of newly-registered Shettleston players given that seven of them arrived from Broomhouse Amateurs where Docherty had been their team manager, while the opportunity to work again with St Anthony's legend McKenna had enticed his erstwhile Govan playing charges Thomas Miller, Kieron Marshall and Jamie Docherty to come on board.

His astonishing predicament was clearly not affecting Cotter's sense of humour last night when he cracked: “A lot of people thought I wouldn’t hack it in the Super First Division but here I am moving on to pastures new without losing a game at this level.

He added: “In all seriousness though I’m gutted at how things have panned out particularly in the case of Keith who had worked his socks off in terms of recruiting players and was looking forward to a first crack at the Juniors.

“Everyone I spoke with about taking the Shettleston job said not to touch it with a barge pole but I really thought it was possible to give it a go through working alongside Shug but here we have the first bombshell without a ball being kicked.

“The official reason for my sacking was given as 'the committee being concerned about me bringing in funds to pay players' but I have never thought that to be part of my brief and in all my time in the Junior game, I’ve never heard of any team manager being expected to raise money for signings?”

He went on: “I felt something was afoot when there was no training gear supplied for our initial training sessions which nevertheless went really well and had a great tempo to them so I was thinking matters would be ironed out eventually…right up until I got a telephone call on Sunday.

“I had been invited to a meeting with the committee but could not attend due to other commitments and in my absence the decision was made to put Keith and myself out the door and replace us with Shug and Bernie..!

“It’s an altogether sorry state of affairs and my number one concern now is over the players who had signed contracts thinking they would be playing under us and it’s no real surprise that a number of them have been in touch to intimate they want to move away.”

Shettleston figurehead Kelly was scathing in his response to the outgoing manager’s claims when speaking earlier.

He adamantly insisted: “It was made abundantly clear right from the very start that all of us…James, Keith, Bernie and myself…would need to provide funds for the running of this season’s Shettleston team but from early on it became very apparent that he was not buying into the idea.

“His unwillingness to broker sponsorship of any form was a deal breaker as far as I and the football club's committee were concerned and we asked to meet him on Sunday to thrash things out only to be told he was otherwise engaged.

“The new season is only a matter of weeks away and we as a club did not want to be presiding over a dressing room of players unhappy at not being paid so the decision was made to end the shambles now and let James and Keith go with immediate effect.

“This situation is not to my liking and I could do without being portrayed as the big bad wolf when all I wanted was for James to keep to our agreement.

“Several players have been in contact wanting to know where they stand and my request to them is to continue coming into training for the next few sessions and if they are still of a mind to move away at that point then we will release them.

“Shettleston Juniors and myself cannot be much fairer than that!”

Kelly’s words have fallen on deaf ears as far as experienced hitman man Docherty is concerned as he has moved quickly to obtain his release papers and is seeking to get fixed up with another club by asking interested parties to contact him on 07900066558.