New boss: Hard work is needed to help Badgers cause

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Nick Hawkins says he is keen to put plenty of work in to help Eastwood Town’s fortunes improve on and off the pitch as he settles into his new role as joint-manager.

Hawkins will be in charge alongside Chris Shaw next season as the Badgers aim to recover from two successive relegations, both in a playing sense and with regard to attracting fans and sponsorship back to Coronation Park.

And with a strong desire and belief that the Badgers could gain a quick return to the Evo-Stik Premier Division, Hawkins wants to begin putting the pieces in place quickly.

He said: “Things have fallen away a lot over recent times but I believe this club has the potential to be like our near neighbours Ilkeston FC.

“They are our nearest rivals geographically and get massive sponsorship. I want to take some of that off them in a sense and I am trying to put myself around everywhere in an attempt to generate interest.

“We’ve a growing and exciting project at Eastwood but our budget isn’t currently the healthiest.

“That can be changed if we can get good sponsors and attract more fans through the gate with good performances, which will in turn mean we can get better players here too.”

Following the announcement of several new signings last week, further additions since then have included versatile defender Rob McCormick and also confirmation that Gary Breach, Wayne Diuk and Paul Worley will be part of the coaching staff.

Hawkins said of McCormick: “He is a great capture for the club and a much sought-after player who we fought off stiff competition for.

“It shows our ambition, as do many of the other signings we’ve made.”

Meanwhile, the Badgers’ pre-season schedule has been confirmed.

Matches will include home games with Heanor Town (July 9), Worksop Town (July 13), Hednesford Town (July 16), Barnsley (July 23) and Ilkeston FC (August 6).

Alongside those matches will be visits to Dunkirk (July 20), Kimberley MW on the same day, Basford United (July 27), Arnold Town (July 30) and Long Eaton United (August 3)