EBAC Northern League club Consett have announced the permanent appointment of Mark Eccles as their new manager

Eccles has been acting as interim manager since the departure of Colin Myers on 5 March, and has now been given the job on a permanent basis.

Under his guidance, the Steelmen’s fortunes have been transformed, with the team currently on a seven-game unbeaten run, having won their last six.

His 13 games in charge have produced eight wins, three draws, just two defeats and 27 points. That compares with three wins, a draw, nine defeats and 10 points in the 13 games prior to him taking charge.

A delighted Eccles said: “I was flattered to be asked to help out until the end of the season after the manager left, but hadn’t even thought about moving into management, as I believe I’ve still got a bit left in me as a player yet.

“But I’ve really enjoyed it, learned a lot, and the lads have responded superbly to the way I want to play football, and the supporters seem to like it too, so things are going well.

“It’s an honour to be asked to manage your hometown club, particularly at such a young age, and I really believe that if we can keep the squad we’ve got together, and add a handful of quality players, we’ll be challenging for trophies next season.”

Chairman Frank Bell said: “Mark has put a smile back onto the faces of the players and supporters, and this is really important to get the best out of people. It is clear the players have given everything for him and they are playing with passion, desire and enjoyment.

“The supporters stayed back to applaud the players off the pitch in our final home game, with the players likewise applauding them. It was a great sight to see and one which williereally drives you on to achieve so much more for the club.”

The Steelmen have also pulled off something of a coup after former Newcastle United coach Willie Donachie, who has been involved with the club on a casual basis, agreed to become first-team coach for next season.

The ex-Manchester City, Norwich, Burnley and Oldham left-back played nearly 700 games in a professional career lasting 22 years, and won 35 international caps for Scotland.

Frank added: “Willie is not only a brilliant coach, but also a very nice guy and, I’m pleased to say, a good friend. His knowledge and experience, matched with his passion for the game, will be excellent for the club, Mark and the players. At a time when many people are ready for a break, we’re all excited for the start of next season – we can’t wait”

Source: Consett AFC

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