Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Hednesford Town have moved swiftly to replace Liam McDonald following his shock switch to manage National League Solihull Moors.
Former Pitmen youth team boss Paul Casey will take charge for the first time on Tuesday night at Stafford Rangers in the Buildbase FA Trophy after being named as the successor to McDonald on Monday.
Casey, who stood down as manager of Midland League Coleshill Town to return to Keys Park in the top job, was appointed after McDonald, rated as one of the brightest young managers in the game, assistant-manager Nick Green and coach David Bridgwater, all stood down hours earlier.
In a statement announcing his appointment, the Pitmen said Casey will be ably assisted by Gary Birch and Gavin Hurren, along with coach Mark Kavanagh – all four bringing Non-League experience to their new touchline set-up.
Casey has told the club’s fans he is delighted to be picking up the baton from McDonald with the Pitmen flying high in fourth sport in the EVO-STIK NPL’s top flight and well placed to mount a promotion push.
He said: “Eight years ago I took a Hednesford Town youth team to Walsall in the FA Youth Cup and I was thinking at the time ‘I would have loved that to have been a first team’. Eight years later I am getting the opportunity to manage the first team after a successful time in management during that period.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for me to come and manage the Hednesford Town first team, especially after having the pleasure of working with the club some eight years ago. I feel that it was somewhat my destiny as I couldn’t see myself leaving Coleshill Town to go anywhere else.
“I will give this my best shot and hopefully continue the good work that Liam McDonald has begun, while also putting my own stamp on the team. Liam has put his own work into the team and I would say that they are the best set of players that Hednesford have had in a number of years. Now I want to build on that and continue keeping the fans happy.”
He added: “I know that we have the players here to continue to be successful and I want to carry on where I left off with Coleshill, having made them into a side that are continually challenging for the title and progressing in the FA Vase. I’m very much looking forward to getting going on Tuesday evening.”
Casey is no stranger to success after guiding the Coleman to the runners-up spot and a fifth-placed finish since taking the helm three years ago. He left with the club going well again after guiding them to the first round of the Emirates FA Cup last season. In his former role overseeing the Pitmen’s youth team, Casey is credited with developing the likes of Ben Bailey, Jamey Osborne and Reece Styche.
Before taking charge of Hednesford following their relegation in May, the highly-rated McDonald spent three years rebuilding Redditch United into EVO-STIK League Southern Premier Division promotion contenders in his first managerial role. The 31-year-old takes charge of The Moors on Tuesday night for the first time in their Emirates FA Cup First Round replay at home to Yeovil Town.