All change at Bulwell as Hulley takes over reins

BULLS FIGHT -- action from Bulwell's local-derby tussle with Linby Colliery Welfare earlier this season.
BULLS FIGHT -- action from Bulwell's local-derby tussle with Linby Colliery Welfare earlier this season.

Anxious Bulwell are hoping that another management shake-up will help the club restore their prowess in non-league domestic football.

After three seasons of sensational success, The Bulls were looking forward to this term as favourites to land the Central Midlands League, South Division title.

But they were rocked by the surprise decision of inspirational duo Terry Witts and Steve ‘Ozzy’ Osborne to ‘move upstairs’ during the summer and take on the role of general managers.

And a shaky start to the 2014/15 campaign left them as low as ninth in the table after only five wins from 11 matches. They trailed leaders Mickleover Royals by 13 points and were behind local rivals, Linby Colliery Welfare and Hucknall Rolls Leisure.

Now -- on the eve of a big local derby this Saturday at home to Hucknall Town -- Bulwell have appointed vastly experienced Scot George Hulley as their new boss.

Hulley will work alongside current manager Ian Lowe, while former assistant boss Dwayne Soar will concentrate solely on playing for and captaining the side.

The appointment followed Bulwell’s First Round exit from the Notts FA Senior County Cup -- at the hands of Hucknall Rolls last week -- and coincided with reports of disharmony in the playing ranks.

“George is a disciplinarian who will give us authority in the dressing room,” explained club secretary Andy Radford.

“We have been trying to bring someone in to work alongside Ian, and George ticks all the boxes.

“He is more of an affirmative type, while Ian is really good tactically. I think they will work well together.”

Hulley has served many clubs during his career, most notably Carlton Town and Basford United, and in recent years, he has been instrumental in the rise of Kimberley Miners Welfare, whom he left at the end of last season.

“It was a no-brainer to take this job,” said Radford. “He’s a local man who has lived in Bulwell for 30 years.”

Radford admitted The Bulls were going through “a sticky period”, but pointed out they were “stuck in a corner” because, even if they won the league, they would not be allowed promotion while they were ground-sharing with their landlords, Basford United, at Greenwich Avenue.

“Things are in the pipeline and, all being well, we might have a place of our own within two or three years,” said Radford.

“We should also have a really good side then too because we are concentrating more on bringing in younger players, rather than the instant-success type of signings.

“This is a new regime -- and both Terry and Ozzy are really happy with it.”

Hulley’s appointment helped to bring about a return to winning ways last Saturday for Bulwell, who marched to a 6-2 victory away to Holbrook St Michael’s.