Stephen Baxter: Irish League managers react to Crusaders' manager resignation

Irish League managers have been reacting to the news that Crusaders' boss Stephen Baxter will step down at the end of the season.

After 19 years in the Seaview dugout, the longest serving manager in world football confirmed in a statement on Saturday that he will leave his post in May.

Here's what some of his competitors - past and present - have had to say on the news:

David Jeffrey - former Linfield and Ballymena United manager

"[The news is] absolutely huge. We played together when we were young boys growing up and we were team-mates at Windsor Park.

"We were both managers and opposed each other on many occasions.

"What that man has achieved and what he has accomplished at Crusaders is remarkable. If people go right back to the very beginning, when Crusaders Football Club, and this is not over-egging the pudding were very much on their uppers. They were down and out so to speak and he was asked to come in and would he take the job for a period.

"The big man has been absolutely unbelievable. And in an age now where we talk about private investment and money in the game, Crusaders are a model for so many clubs and how they have gone about in simply increasing their ability to improve by way of players succeeding on the pitch."

Stuart King - current Carrick Rangers manager

"It's monumental news for the league. He's been an unbelievable manager and for him to step down just after the transfer window is massive news for the league.

"He has been phenomenal. It's a real good job. There are going to be lots of people interested in it. It's a massive opportunity for somebody."

Scott Young - former Glentoran manager

"It's a monumental announcement. His achievements at Crusaders over the 19-year period are just phenomenal.

I was first-team coach under the great Alan McDonald [when they won the Setanta Cup]. The standard was unbelievably high and I think that is as big an achievement as you produce in winning championships, being in Europe every single year for so many seasons and the money that generated for the football club.

"It's quite sad as well. He's one of those characters and he has been a great ambassador and success in Irish League football."