DARREN Kelk became the latest man to take charge of troubled Hucknall Town this week – and said he intends to see out the season at Watnall Road.
The former Teversal boss has replaced Jason Truscott, who cited ‘off the field unresolved problems with a former employer’ as the reason for leaving the club on Tuesday.
Kelk therefore becomes Hucknall’s fourth different manager this season following Brett Marshall, the joint management team of Gary Sucharewycz and Ian Robinson, and then Truscott.
And the new boss, who was most recently assistant manager at Eastwood Town under John Ramshaw, immediately outlined his plans for the future, including another overhaul of the current squad.
He said: “I had a break from the game for a little while because the events at Eastwood took it out of me a bit and I wasn’t ready to come back too soon.
“I also had quite a few work commitments which had made it difficult to find time for the football side of things.
“But to be honest I’ve missed the whole experience of being at the sharp end, and having had a little bit of time coaching at Blidworth I felt that when I got the call from Steve Peat (Hucknall’s general manager) I wanted to help out.
“I remember coming here in the past and there being big gates and some great teams and I’m really keen to help.
“The reality of the situation is obviously there in black and white and if we go down then we go down, but it’s a great challenge and one I’ve agreed to commit to until the end of the season at least.”
Kelk says he has already been negotiating with various contacts to try to recruit some players, and is unsure how many of those brought in by Truscott will remain with the club.
He added: “I’ve spoken to Paul Cox at Mansfield and he’s really keen to get quite a few of his youth team playing games here as they need some football and it aids their development a great deal to play competitively.
“They play most of their games on Wednesdays, so it’s ideal in a way because there’s a gap for them to recover before turning out for us on Saturdays.
“I’ve said to some of the lads who will come in that it’ll be a great experience for them and that who knows, they could be heroes if they keep Hucknall Town in the division.
“We’ll probably bring in some players from lower levels too, but ideally it would be good to pull a few favours in and get some with good calibre.”
With the Yellows still officially under amateur status, players will continue to have to turn out for free, something Kelk is keen to make any potential signings aware of quickly.
“They have to come here with the understanding that there’s no money around, with the exception of the occasional expenses for travelling and so on,” he added.
“Some of these guys who aren’t playing at other clubs may be happy with that, though, if it means they’ll get some games.
“There’s plenty of effort going on behind the scenes to pay the debt off and who’s to say somebody won’t come in and clear the debts before the end of the season?
“On that basis it’s important we keep things going as much as we can and try to pick some points up.”
Kelk says former Yellows boss Ramshaw has also offered to help out on a scouting level as well as with his numerous contacts.
Meanwhile, this weekend’s visit of Sheffield FC looks increasingly unlikely to go ahead, given the cold weather which has recently swept the region.
With further snow expected to fall today (Friday) and with the pitch at Watnall Road already frozen, Kelk thinks it is highly unlikely the game will be played.
But he continued to say that will buy him valuable time as he tries to assemble a squad.
He said: “In some ways, not playing this weekend will be a bonus in that it gives us time to get a team together, and the seven days’ notice I’ve put in for some players will have expired so I can speak to them ahead of the next match.
“I’ve got some help coming in on the coaching side too, so by the time the Stamford game comes up, I’m confident we’ll have a good set-up in place.”