A COLERAINE man is at the centre of the new footballing dynasty at Manchester City.
Former Northern Ireland international Barry Hunter is European Regional Scouting Manager with the newly crowned Premier League champions.
On Sunday City clinched the championship - their first since 1968 - with a last gasp 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers, pipping local rivals Manchester United in one of the most dramatic days ever in the English Premiership.
Barry has played a key role in shaping Roberto Mancini’s team as many of the players were brought to the Etihad by him and his scouting staff.
In an exclusive interview with The Coleraine Times on Monday, an elated Barry said that the league victory was only a stepping stone to more trophies.
“It was unbelievable. The atmosphere was just magical.
“Today we have the relief and the joy of the win, the pressure is off now for a few days. But already we’re thinking and planning for next season. It’s all well and good winning the League, the plan is retaining it next year.”
Barry and his young daughter were part of the celebrations at the Ethiad Stadium on Sunday. He admitted: “In all my days in football I thought I’d seen everything, that was until yesterday. Those last few minutes were just nailbiting.
“All of the players on the pitch yesterday came through the scouting office. It was a very special day for everyone in our office.
“I am part of a very small scouting department - we provide all the final details on a player to the manager to allow him to make a decision.
“To see the players that we brought to the club receiving their championship medals was very special, very rewarding. They are now well established Premier League players.
Speaking about boss Mancini, Barry admitted: “He’s a great manager, a fantastic professional, he just expects all of his staff to work to the best of their ability for the good of the club. “
As we spoke to Barry he was enroute to a staff party, where he hoped to get his hands on the all-important Premier League trophy.
“Yes, I can’t wait to get my hands on the trophy. It’ll be great to get together with all the boys.
“The players had their own party last night [Sunday], but most of them will attend this one tonight.
“Manchester City is a great club. We waited a long time to win the title and already plans are in place for next season.”
BY: Nichola Forgrave