PRIDE, passion and commitment will be crucial ingredients in making Hucknall Town successful again, says ambitious new manager Brett Marshall.
The rallying-cry comes as the 43-year-old prepares to welcome potential players to the start of pre-season training today (Saturday June 23).
The tennis at Wimbledon might not have started and Euro 2012 is still in full swing, but Marshall says he is excited about the Yellows’ fast-approaching assault on the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier League, Division One South.
He already has at least 15 players who have committed to joining the club but cannot reveal their names yet.
But he is eager to bring in fresh talent who are hungry to make a name for themselves in the game.
He emphasised that Town will not be funding heavy-duty wages and there will be no players on contracts this term.
“I’ve done my apprenticeship in the lower leagues and never been involved in money,” said Marshall. “Players have to earn their shirts.
“They all have to want to play and be proud of playing for this club, which I am proud to manage.
“I am rising up the ladder and I have my own philosophy on the game.
“If lads are coming here to pay for a car loan and cover their bills, this isn’t the club for them.
“I don’t want anyone who can balance a ball on the back of his neck but has the heart of a caraway seed.
“All I’ve been doing for the last few weeks is dismantling the mercenary carousel at the club.
“I am not a disciplinarian but I expect players to mirror my effort. If they don’t, they won’t be at the club for long.
“I have to be very careful because one bad apple can upset the dressing room.”
Marshall joined Town from Retford United, who were last season’s champions in the Premier Division of the Northern Counties East League. He takes over from former Nottingham Forest defender Des Lyttle.
He is part of a new regime that also includes new chairman Derek Blow, who arrives from Evo-Stik rivals Rainworth Miners Welfare.
Marshall has set his stall out and has also taken a lead role in making sure the often-lamented Watnall Road playing surface is up to scratch.
“I think they’ve spent more on it in the last three weeks than in the last three years,” he quipped.
“It is crucial that the playing surface is right, the changing rooms are right and the club creates the right impression for potential players and fans.”
The Yellows have undergone a tumultuous time in recent years with a revolving door of managers and players since reaching the final of the FA Trophy in 2005 at Villa Park.
Their finances have constantly been under scrutiny and this came to a head last year with the discovery of a hefty VAT bill that threatened to bring the club to their knees.
But that is being paid off and Marshall believes a bright future is ahead. He now wants the fans — old and new — to back him and his players.
“We want to be pushing,” he said. “We are going into the league to win it and the main thing is we win a lot of games and get the crowds back up to 250 or 300.
“Hucknall Town is a great club with great history and there have been some great players in the past. But I want lads here who can carve out a non-league career.
“I want fans to be able to talk to players by their first names. Although this is quite a good level, we are some way off being progfessional footballers.
“I want players with the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and with something to prove.
“They have got the chance to become local legends. With support off the field we could play some good stuff on it.”
n THE FULL list of pre-season friendlies organised by Town is:
Lincoln City (Saturday July 14, home, 3 pm); Linby Colliery Welfare (Wednesday July 18, away, 7 pm); Greenwood Meadows (Saturday July 21, away, 3 pm); Gainsborough Trinity (Tuesday July 24, away, 7.45 pm); Glapwell (Thursday July 26, away, 7.45 pm); Matlock (Saturday July 28, home, 3 pm); Clipstone Welfare (Wednesday August 1, away, 7.45 pm); Eastwood (Saturday August 4, away, 3 pm); Ilkeston (Tuesday August 7, home, 7.45 pm); and finally Worksop Town (Saturday August 11, home, 3 pm).