Bassetlaw derby is personal for Shaw

Worksop Town's manager Mark Shaw -Pic by: Richard Parkes
Worksop Town's manager Mark Shaw -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Mark Shaw will carry disappointment of how he was treated at Cannon Park into Saturday’s clash with his former employers Retford.

The Tigers boss will welcome a club he both played for and managed to Sandy Lane for the hotly anticipated Bassetlaw derby.

And he admitted to the Guardian this game was a little more personal than most.

Shaw led Retford United to successive promotions in 2005/06 and 2006/07, won the NCEL Premier title and added the Wilkinson Sword Trophy and President’s Cup to the trophy cabinet.

But he left the club in acrimonious circumstances and made way for Peter Duffield.

“It means a lot to me. It’s the first competitive game against a former club, and a local derby,” he said.

“I still feel a little bit aggreived at how I was let go there.”

“I’m a very loyal person and would have probably stayed there for a long time.”

“But I’m settled and happy now, I’m home at the club I really want to be at for a long time.

Shaw insists he couldn’t be happier at Sandy Lane, despite having to start from scratch in the summer and dropping down from Northern Premier League title contention to NCEL Premier with a bunch of kids.

He said: “The building process is fantastic, we’re moving forward in leaps and bounds every week and I’d like to work with these players more than three times a week because they’re more of a joy to work with than any team I’ve worked with.”

“Last season’s squad was fantastic, working with them was superb, but I’m always going to see a hell of a lot more development from a group of young lads who enjoy playing their football.”

“Last year we enjoyed doing a lot of chasing and wanting to win games, everyone was on the same page.”

“Here, this season, who knows what we could achieve?”

The manager, who went on to manage the likes of Sheffield FC and Shirebrook, concedes there is uncertainty about how the 2014/15 season will treat his young Tigers.

But he’s having fun managing them, and encouraged the fans to share in his enjoyment: “We might not get anywhere near challenging, we might get knocked out in the first round of the League Cup and Sheffield Senior Cup and end up finishing 10th, but we’ve got to enjoy the ride – it’s a great ride.”

Worksop entertain Retford at 3pm on Saturday.