New Hucknall Town manager Duncan Russell has given his first insight into how he wants the club to be run and his team to play.
Russell says Town must be “more active in the community” to win back the support of the Hucknall public.
And he promises The Yellows will try to play attractive football as part of their bid to climb back up the non-League ladder.
Ex-Mansfield Town boss Russell (55) says he has settled in well at Watnall Road since he was appointed, alongside 1998 World Cup star Paul Hall, three weeks ago.
“We are buzzing and really looking forward to it,” he said this week. “We are ready to go.”
Russell is well aware that cash-strapped Town need a major overhaul, both on and off the field, after another relegation -- this time to the Northern Counties East League’s Premier Division.
“I have met the staff and the people who work at the club -- and the first thing I said to them is that we must be more active in the community,” he said. “That is just not happening at the moment.
“We need to be running a school of excellence and we need more liaison with youth sides. We also have to make a conscious effort to get into the local schools.
“If we ran soccer schools, they would attract hundreds of kids. In turn, their parents would get involved and then, all of a sudden, gates start to up because there is more interest in the club.
“In the past, the club seem to have put all their eggs in one basket and concentrated on the first team. But you can’t run a football club like that in this day and age -- unless you have someone prepared to bankroll you.”
Bankroll is a dirty word at Town, given the club’s well-documented debts. But Russell is hopeful those debts will be paid off “in a few months”, freeing a “pot of money” to help sign new players.
“The biggest task we face is enticing players when we can’t pay them,” Russell admitted.
“But I have a few irons in the fire, and there has been a bit of interest from players I used to manage. We have also received requests from players wanting trials.”
Now all current players from last season, plus potential new ones, will be invited to a day of special trial games this summer. Current players have also been sent a close-season training programme to maintain their basic fitness before pre-season training starts.
Russell hopes to begin formulating a squad during July before deciding on a formation.
“Systems don’t win games, players do,” said Russell. “But I can’t stand route one football.
“We will always encourage players to play from the back, providing we have the players to do it.
“We can coach any system. I might play 4-4-2, but I like 3-4-3. It will be a case of looking at our strengths and weaknesses and going from there.”