I shall let you in to a little secret. Before I asked Steve Burr to be the first manager under my chairmanship, I was extremely close to signing the guy I consider as not just a very good personal friend, but someone who has an unrivalled record at our level. Sadly, at the last minute, that did not materialise and Steve Burr was appointed instead. About 3 years ago, we had the same discussions. On this occasion, the timing was not right.
Despite all of that, we remained good friends. I openly let Burr, Harvey and Briggsy know that I only ever speak to two managers. The Stalybridge Celtic manager at that time, and one other manager…a guy who is head and shoulders above the rest.
So, it is with great delight and huge excitement that I can announce that Liam Watson is the new Stalybridge Celtic manager. Liam has signed a deal that will see him stay at the club until April 2017 - though we both hope that it will be for an awful lot longer. Liam has an astonishing record at our level. He has won the Conference North three times with Southport (twice) and AFC Telford, and he has won the Unibond League with Burscough. He was also named Non League Manager of the Year in 2013 for finishing 7th in the Conference Premier with part-time Southport.
I can also announce that Dominic Morley will be Liam’s assistant. Dom has worked closely with Liam both at Southport and Telford and we welcome him to the club.
Coach Dave Sullivan and captain Scott Kerr will still take control of tomorrow’s vital match against Gloucester City, but Liam and Dom will be sat in the stands observing.
Liam was full time with AFC Telford and was part-time with Southport. Since his departure from AFC Telford, Liam has found himself employment and so our hope is that Sully will continue to coach the players. There will be a complete review of the club, from top to bottom, in the close season but Liam’s sole focus is on ensuring survival in the remaining games of the season.
I thought that it would be hard to top the managers that we have employed in the past 8 years, but, we have and I cannot hide my excitement! Liam’s records speak for itself and I am absolutely thrilled that he and Dom have joined us. Task number 1 is to ensure safety this season and then we prepare for next season.
It is exactly the lift that everyone at the club needs and I desperately hope that the fans turn out in force and get behind the team, starting with tomorrow’s game against Gloucester