JOHN Ramshaw returned to Coronation Park as manager of Eastwood Town this week and declared: “I couldn’t turn the opportunity down.”
The appointment sees Ramshaw return to the club he left in March 2010 when assistant manager to Paul Cox, making it his third spell altogether with the Badgers having also had a brief period as assistant to Bryan Chambers nearly ten years ago.
And after giving up his role as boss of Evo-Stik Division One South side Shepshed Dynamo to return to Nottinghamshire, Ramshaw expressed his delight at being back and explained how the offer to return was too good to resist.
“It all happened quite quickly,” he said.
“I was asked by a third party if I was interested in coming back, which of course I was, and I then had a call from the new owner Steve Lynch asking if I’d like to come over for a chat.
“I did that and was impressed by Steve’s honest approach, in that he told me straight that the budget wouldn’t be very big and that if I couldn’t work with that then the job wasn’t for me.
“But I simply couldn’t turn down the opportunity to come back here and am delighted that I have been given that chance. The hard work can now begin.”
Ramshaw faces a similar challenge at Coronation Park to that he has left behind at Shepshed, with both clubs currently fighting relegation and having only a small budget to do it with.
And while it’s a task he’s very willing to take on, he says it won’t be an immediate turnaround despite the quality of the squad.
“The fact is the club is third from bottom in the league and it is my job to rectify that situation as soon as possible,” he said.
“It won’t be easy and I’d ask the fans to be patient as it will take time for things to take effect, but I can assure them that I will work around the clock to put things right and until safety is assured.”
With regard to the players he has inherited, Ramshaw says he has been enthused by their response in training and is confident many will want to stay and aid the Badgers’ cause.
He also highlighted his desire to give all his players a chance to prove themselves before deciding whether arrivals and departures are needed.
He said: “I’ve had a good chat with the players and was pleased with their attitude, but there are clearly some issues with things like their fitness, which they acknowledge and is understandable given they haven’t really had any leadership for a little while.
“In terms of styles of football, given the kinds of players here we’ll devise a way that suits them rather than them having to suit me, as there is little point in attempting to put square pegs in round holes.
“Obviously there may be players who might feel their future lies elsewhere and that’s something I have to respect, but unless my hand is forced I don’t anticipate many changes for a few weeks as I want to assess what we have and what might then be required.”
Ramshaw has appointed Richard Cooper as his assistant, the former Badgers defender also returning to the club having been Paul Cox’s right-hand man last season.
“I like to be surrounded by people I know and trust and Coops falls into that bracket having worked with him here before,” he said.
“With that in mind I’ve also brought coach Jim Wynn and physio Nick Taylor with me and there may be other appointments still to come.”
Ramshaw’s first game in charge will be this Saturday when Eastwood travel to face an Altrincham side that currently sit eighth in the Blue Square Bet North.
And with last Saturday’s win at Vauxhall Motors giving his new charges some momentum, he is hoping for a positive outcome.
He added: “I’ll be getting some reports on Altrincham so we know what to expect, but we’ve got a difficult couple of months ahead starting this weekend, and the job of trying to keep ourselves in this division starts right now.”
by Mark Duffy