AFC Mansfield manager Rudy Funk has moved quickly to fill the hole left by Micky Taylor’s departure as his assistant boss.
Stepping into Taylor’s shoes, who stepped down due to personal and work commitments, is Mark Ward who moves up from being coach of the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division side.
It was a surprise to see Taylor, who had been the club’s first ever manager before returning as assistant, leave the Bulls earlier this month.
But, Funk is in doubt that Ward, who started his managerial career at Swallownest before he was assistant boss at Handsworth Parramore, will be a perfect replacement.
He said: “Micky left a big hole to fill but, on reflection, it was a no brainer in putting Mark in that role.
“He has a great all round experience of football both in the NCEL and much higher.
“Having been a player and having experienced management at other clubs makes him the perfect man for the job.
“I am delighted for both him and the club, I can see great things to come.”
Ward added: “I feel privileged to have been given this role at this ambitious club.
“Rudy was the first to contact me when I left Handsworth and being a loyal person I will hope to repay him by making my time at the club a success.
“I eventually did have other offers but I am fiercely loyal and feel the club can achieve something.
“It is good for me to be working with an experienced and successful manager like Rudy.
“Obviously, in the future, I would like to manage at a good level and the things I learn from him will be beneficial for my development.
“I have had some influence in bringing new players to the club, with me just finishing playing I am closer to the ground than most.
“I have made some recommendations but ultimately it is Rudy that decides who to bring in.
“As a club I think we have done well in that respect.”