CARETAKER manager Darren Kelk insisted this week he is the man to lead relegated Hucknall Town on their road to revival.
Town are hunting for a permanent boss after dropping into the Northern Counties East League for the first time in 15 years.
And even though he has not been offered the job, respected coach Kelk has confirmed he wants it -- despite three traumatic months at the helm as temporary chief.
“I’d like the responsibilty of taking the club forward,” said Kelk, a sales director who lives in Sheffield. “My CV is ready and I have put it in.
“The club needs stability and someone who is patient with individuals. I know the workings of the club.”
In 16 matches, Kelk’s Yellows have taken only one point, scored only nine goals and leaked 79. But he has won praise simply for keeping the team going after three previous managers, Brett Marshall, Gary Sucharewycz and Jason Truscott, all quit inside two months. Kelk, who was previously number two to another ex-Yellows boss, John Ramshaw, at Eastwood Town, has fielded a makeshift squad of youngsters, all unpaid. And because of financial debts, Town will remain a strictly amateur club for the foreseeable future.
Kelk is on record as saying it could take them up to ten years to return to the Evo-Stik League. But he has a three-year plan he’d like to implement.
“The first year would be about consolidation, the second about building and the third about giving it a good push,” he said. “Now that we are at a lower level, we should be able to compete better. Had we stayed in the Evo-Stik, we would have been scrapping week in, week out in the bottom four or five. I have a lot of contacts in the game, and I have an extensive list of players I would like to sign. If we can get a winning platform, we can start to get the crowds back again. The fans can’t bear to watch when their team is getting beat week after week.”
Town have invited applications for the manager’s job, with a deadline set for next Tuesday (May 7). They plan to conduct interviews a week tomorrow (Saturday May 12), with a view to announcing a decision the following week.