FORMER Queens Park Rangers star and Northern Ireland international Alan McDonald has emerged as the latest big name to contest the vacant Aldershot Town manager's position — even though he was one of the first to apply.

McDonald wasted no time in submitting his impressive CV, believing that his vast experience will help cement Aldershot's claim for Conference football and beyond.

After almost 400 games for QPR, McDonald went on to become reserve team boss of Swindon under manager Jimmy Quinn.

Now a FIFA-qualified coach and holder of the highest badge of its kind in European football, McDonald is also in charge of the Northern Ireland under 21 side and assists first team manager Sammy McIroy when Morecambe boss Jim Harvey is unavailable.

He said: "I've known of Aldershot for some time, ever since the days when I used to watch Ian Stewart play for the former league club. I'm also a good friend of Andy Pape and know through him that Aldershot is a big club with both the ambition and massive potential to get into the Conference and then back into the Football League.

"I like to think that with my contacts and knowledge of both coaching and non-League football that I could take Aldershot Town forward. I understand, however, that the chairman is not going to rush into anything and I respect that decision."

McDonald is likely to appeal to the Rec's Irish contingent of Owen Coll and Mark Graham — the latter of which actually played with the legendary defender at QPR.

The 60-odd applications will present something a challenge for chairman Karl Prentice as he deciphers through his mailbag.

Mr Prentice is expected to call a director's meeting in order for the board to discover, for the first time, just who has applied for the coveted position and who will be shortlisted for the interview stages.

The chairman said: "I've been surprised by the number of applications. I knew it would be popular because of the scale of the job, but to receive over 60 applications is unbelievable.

"There are a lot of high-profile names in there but we will not be rushing into anything or making any announcements until we have looked over the applications."

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