Staveley is a ‘perfect fit’ for former Retford and Hucknall boss Brett Marshall

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Following the end of a hectic season, it is a time of year when the focus turns from on the pitch to off it as clubs assess their side’s fortunes over the past ten months.

Grounds are given a lick of paint, squads are re-assembled and sometimes managers move on. Staveley are probably no different to other clubs, after the arrival of new boss Brett Marshall.

Hucknall Town V Kings Lynn'Manager  Brett Marshall hopes for a pot of gold at the end of a dramatic rainbow on Tuesday night

Hucknall Town V Kings Lynn'Manager Brett Marshall hopes for a pot of gold at the end of a dramatic rainbow on Tuesday night

But, while other managers are busy getting players through the door ahead of pre-season, Marshall is confident he has already got his squad in place before he sets off on holiday.

The size of the challenge was very different to what he expected, however, following the departure of ten players at the end of the last campaign - meaning his phone was red hot from day one.

“I was expecting to have to bring in three or four but we needed much more,” he said. “I’ve got 15 new players lined up and expected to report for pre-season training.

“I’ve not stopped from the day I started in my attempts to get players in.

“There will be six or seven with Evo-Stik experience and others who I know from my time in the game.

“I want a strong dressing room. I want to see attractive football, strength, pace, a mixture of youth and experience. When they get to 25, 26, 27 they become senior players in my squad.

“We will have a group of three or four younger players who could be involved, but 50 games at Step 5 comes with its physical demands and they might not be able to do that.”

Marshall should know.

He has a wealth of experience at this level and above with Retford United, where he managed a side to the NCEL Premier Division title in 2012, and Hucknall Town.

He experienced what it was like to manage a football club during difficult financial times at Retford before lightning struck twice at Hucknall and Marshall felt he had something to prove.

He took over the reins at Clipstone FC, not as manager but as chairman, and they were crowned NCEL Division One champions last season before opting to make the move from the boardroom back in to the dug out.

“I wanted to prove that I could do that job,” said Marshall. “I achieved what I wanted to and I wanted to move on. I had another offer on the table but being at Staveley is the perfect fit.

“It’s a very well organised football club. Terry (Damms, Staveley chairman) has left no stone un-turned and there are a lot of good people here.

“I’d spoken to him and we were on the same wavelength from the word go, he respects loyalty, as do I, and I will want to see the same from the players.

“Everything from the tracksuits, kits to the pre-season arrangements and a new mini bus for away days, it’s all been taken care of by people at the club.

“My last two clubs, Hucknall and Retford, there were financial problems and were very difficult conditions to work in - that’s not the case here. It’s the most professional setup on an amateur stage.”

He will be joined by assistant Paul Ward, coaches Tony Cook, Jody Caudwell and goalkeeper coach Ian Bowling. Pre-season training starts on June 24 and the warm-up games have been arranged.

So, how far can he and Staveley go together?

“Staveley are not ready for Step 4 at the moment,” he said. “The way the football club is ran, if we made it there, then to go in to Step 5 would be our decision.

“It’s not a closed door, when the time is right. I’ve been at a higher level and I’ve won the NCEL Premier, I know what it takes to compete at that level.

“It will be difficult but we’ll be at the right end of the table. We’ve got some good, young players and the experienced players coming in will help them develop.

“I’m in it for fun and enjoyment, never financial gain. I want to play good football, with some young talent and 200 fans in the ground - that’s what gets my heart beating.”