New Kimberley Miners Welfare player/manager Martin Lench says he is relishing the chance to put his own stamp on the role and help take the club forward.
Lench, 30, was appointed following the departure of Tony Hemmings earlier this month and is the third person to manage the Miners this season, with Paul Rawden having preceded Hemmings.
Kimberley are settled in a lower mid-table position and, with that in mind, Lench is keen to build a stable squad to see out the season with a view to building a successful setup for the next campaign.
He said: “I love this club so when the opportunity came up to take over I jumped at it.
“I’ve been a player here for a little while but am recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury which has kept me out for a long time.
“I’m probably a couple of months away from playing again now but whether I’ll do the two roles together remains to be seen. I’ll decide once I’ve played a few games.
“In the meantime, I’ve brought in a few players I’ve played alongside in the past and we’re getting a good little squad together so hopefully we can avoid getting sucked into any relegation battles by picking up a few points between now and the end of the season.”
Lench oversaw his first game in charge in last Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at title-chasing St Andrews, before a Tuesday night trip to Holwell Sports saw a last minute goal deny the Miners all three points in a 2-2 draw.
Lench said: “Having two sent off at St Andrews didn’t help us, especially with one being so early on, as I felt before each of them we were well in the game.
“Then on Tuesday I was disappointed not to get the win given we were ahead until the 90th minute, but it’s given us plenty to build on.”
In what has been Kimberley’s second season in the East Midlands Counties League, their hopes of a top eight finish and subsequent FA Cup qualification for 2016/17 have fallen by the wayside as the campaign has progressed.
But Lench is keen to build a side that can challenge for that position next season and in the process do enough to continue in his new role for as long as possible.
He said: “This is a really tough division. At the start of our first season we were at the top for a while before things came crashing down a bit.
“To succeed in this division you need a good strong squad of at least 16 and be very organised. You can’t just turn up and expect to win.
“Thankfully, the lads I’ve brought in already know that and we have to utilise their experience while we go through the transition.
“I’ve also got Andy Miller on the coaching staff which is important as he knows the level and is an experienced coach.
“I want to put my own stamp on things. There’s a great buzz about the place despite all the changes we’ve seen this season and I want to get a good team together that can give us a good chance of achieving our aims next season.”