Stags boss Murray may plump for youth in search for No.2

Adam Murray.
Adam Murray.

Youthful coaches Scott Rickards and Karl Hawley figure highly on Adam Murray’s candidates for his first team coaching set-up next season.

Although he is still speaking to more experienced names about joining as his No.2 or in another capacity for next season, Murray is currently enjoying the input of Rickards and Hawley.

Rickards, who is in charge of recruitment for the club’s new U21s side, and Hawley, who is currently helping out as a part-time striker coach, are both former playing colleagues of Murray.

Rickards has been gaining experience on the first team bench for the last four games and Hawley is expected to do the same before the season ends now his 30-goal Evo-Stik Northern Premier League season with Stourbridge is over, which ended with him picking up three national awards.

The search has been on since Stags released first team coach Micky Moore early from his contract early this month.

Murray smiled: “We have had Scott for the last four games now and he keeps telling me we’ve not been beaten. I like it.

“Karl has been in every day though he obviously can’t do games at the minute as he’s too busy picking up awards elsewhere.

“People keep going on at me me about going out and getting experience. But I am not barking down the experience road at the minute if I’m being honest.

“I’ve looked at it. I’ve spoken to a few people with a lot of experience and I have to weigh up the balance in my own head.

“At times I have made mistakes and, crazy as it is as at the time it hurts, I’ve enjoyed making mistakes as I am learning and I want it to be my mistake. I want to learn myself. If if I fail doing that, it’s my sword isn’t it?

“I’ve enjoyed having the two boys around me with Coops (coach Richard Cooper). They are not scared to put me in my place. They are not scared to tell me I am wrong and they are not scared to put their opinion on the table and back it 100 per cent – they’ve probably done that a little bit too much in the last few weeks!”

Most importantly Murray said they were working in harmony with the squad.

“Both of them have got the boys’ respect,” said Murray. “ I’ve had a lot of the senior pros pull me and say the lads are really happy with this. Both of them are in the game and see the game as the modern era is.

“I am not going to be rushed into anything. I will probably have a look at Karl in a matchday situation over the next few weeks and see how that pans out.

“I’ll have a good chat with Scott. He is a tricky one as he should be the highest paid player at the club the amount of work he is doing - not just that but the standard he is producing. His work is top drawer.”

He added: “It’s a tough decision. There are a few irons in the fires and I have a couple of older heads I am talking to, but it doesn’t mean because you’ve had 40 years in the game it gives you a licence to win.

“You look at some of the older managers who have lost their job, not just in our league but in leagues around us, in the last couple of years and you could say - you’re experienced you should be knowing that. But it doesn’t work like that. The game is a horrible business.

“So I will take my time and think about what is best for the team and myself and obviously the football club. I will always go with my gut instinct and I will be more than happy with that.”

Hawley picked up three awards at the Evo-Stik League Presentation Night,

He was named as Supporters’ Player of the Season in a poll held among the members of the Evo-Stik League Facebook Group, ahead of runner-up (and last season’s winner) Robbie Dale of Blyth Spartans, and third-placed Ciaran Kilheeney of Division One North Champions Warrington Town.

He was also nominated in the Premier Division Team of the Season, as voted for by the managers of the 24 clubs.

To crown a tremendous evening for the Glassboys’ leading scorer, he then picked up the main award of the night, the Evo-Stik League Premier Division Player of the Season, also voted for by the respective managers.

Hawley signed for Stourbridge just before the start of the season, having enjoyed a lengthy career in the Football League, most notably with Carlisle United (where he was named League Two Player of the Year in 2006) and Notts County.

He has led the way for the Glassboys this season with 30 goals in all competitions.