King, 40, takes the reins having gathered twenty years’ worth of experience within the Irish League, the last five of which he has spent as Manager of Banbridge Town in the Premier Intermediate League.
A left-winger in his playing days, King began his senior career as a youngster at Preston North End, making his debut in a cup game away to Hartlepool at the age of 17. In fact, it would be during these early days at Preston where he found his first managerial inspiration in the form of then boss David Moyes.
Following loan spells at Ross County and Queen of the South, King penned short term contracts at Oldham Athletic and Southend United before returning home to Northern Ireland in January 2001 to sign for Linfield.
Under the stewardship of David Jeffrey, King linked up with a great dressing room at Windsor Park which included the likes of Noel Bailie and Glenn Ferguson as he went on to lift the Gibson Cup twice while also winning the Irish Cup, League Cup, County Antrim Shield and Setanta Cup in a successful four-and-a-half years at “The Blues”.
His next move then came by signing for Tommy Wright at Ballymena United in June 2005. The winger racked up 112 appearances and 11 goals across a three-and-a-half year stay at the Showgrounds before a move to Glenavon at the start of 2009.
King helped the Lurgan side win the Mid Ulster Cup and then moved on to play in the Championship for H&W Welders and Larne.
A fan favourite at the East Antrim outfit, King spent two years playing under former ‘Gers boss David McAlinden and left on a high by being named the side’s Player of the Year in the 2013/14 campaign.
His first step into the dugout then came in a player-coach role at Ballyclare Comrades before taking on a similar position at Banbridge Town.
It wasn’t long until King was appointed to the manager’s position at Crystal Park, which he has held for the last six years, bringing cup success to the County Down team by winning the District Cup twice while also lifting the Bob Radcliffe Cup in 2018.
Holding the UEFA A License and currently undertaking his Pro License, it is a new dawn for both King and Carrick Rangers as he will lead the ‘Gers forward in the coming seasons.
Excited to have been appointed as the new Carrick Rangers manager, Stuart King commented,
“First of all I would like to thank Banbridge Town and the Chairman there for everything they have done, I am sad to leave but I can't turn down an opportunity like this. In terms of my development and where I want to go, Carrick Rangers is a perfect match; it's a fantastic opportunity for me to put my stamp on a Premiership club.
It is a proud day for myself, my family, and everyone who has helped get me here. I hope to do well and I aspire to be the best which lines up with this club's aspirations so hopefully we can get there together."
Pleased to confirm the appointment of Stuart King as the new First Team Manager, Carrick Rangers Chairman Peter Clarke added,
“The club is delighted that Stuart has agreed to become our new manager and we are extremely impressed with his vision for Carrick Rangers. Stuart's enthusiasm and passion to improve and succeed at this level very much reflects that of the Board of Directors and everyone associated with the club and that is why we are so pleased that he is joining us to continue our development as a Premiership side.
Stuart enjoyed a long and distinguished playing career working with, and learning from, some of the best managers in both England and Northern Ireland. We have no doubt that all of this experience will serve him well as he leads Carrick Rangers into the future.”
A warm welcome to the Loughshore Hotel Arena, Stuart!