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John McDonnell (born 26 March 1965 in Dublin) is an Irish football former manager and player.

Nicknamed Johnny Mac, he had an accomplished career as a footballer before entering management. The majority of his career was spent at St. Pats and he captained the side to the 1996 League of Ireland Championship. He also won 1 Inter League cap while with Pats.

As a no-nonsense tough defender, McDonnell started his career with Shamrock Rovers in the 1983/84 season (5 total appearances), followed by Home Farm F.C. , Drogheda United before signing for Pats. After winning the league there he signed back for Rovers for the 1991/92 where he scored once in 34 appearances.

He then signed back for another spell at Richmond Park where he captained the side to the League triumph in the 1995/96 season under mananger Brian Kerr (football manager). Despite missing out on the Champions League due to then format in the first ever European tie at Richmond Park McDonnell scored in the UEFA Cup tie with SK Slovan Bratislava [1].

He then moved to Newry Town. It was with the Northern Irish club that he made the first step into management, becoming player-manager in 1998.

In this first ever season in European competition, Newry Town (as they were then known) were drawn against the Croatia side Hrvatski Dragovoljac. A 1-0 defeat in Croatia was followed by a historic 2-0 win at home to send the club into the second round. There they met Bundesliga side MSV Duisburg. Again, Newry were drawn away in the first leg, coming away with a respectable 2-0 defeat to the German professionals. A 1-0 win at home wasn't enough to force extra time but the side had exceeded expectations in the tournament.

He resigned in September 1999.

The chance came to manage at newly founded League of Ireland side Dublin City FC then he was appointed him as assistant manager at then league champions Shelbourne FC. McDonnell was awarded the honour of being assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland national team Under 20s at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championships.

In 2004, when Eamonn Collins resigned as St. Pats manager, the club turned to its former captain and firm fans' favourite, McDonnell, to turn around the fortunes of the ailing Dublin giant. (Ironically Collins would take McDonnell's job as Pat Fenlon's assistant.) His side initially struggled and only a late burst at the end of the 2005 season saw St. Pats saved from a humiliating relegation. For the 2006 season, he assembled practically a whole new squad and reached the final of the FAI Cup losing to Derry City 4-3. He then guided Pats to their best ever European run in the UEFA Cup in the 2008/2009 season where they qualified for the first round proper after eliminating JFK Olimps Riga and IF Elfsborg.

He is the first St Pats player to win the League of Ireland, score and manage the club in European competition.

In January 2009 he departed as St. Patricks Athletic manager. He was then linked with the Assistant Manager position at Leeds United, the Manager position at Cork City FC and manager positions at League 2 sides Barnet and Bournemouth.

In September 2009 he returned to Irish League side Newry City F.C. as manager following the resignation of Gerry Flynn.

In March 2010 he resigned [2].

Honours

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