Fans favourite and Royals legend Phil Male is back at Sutton Coldfield Town as part of manager Neil Tooth’s touchline team for the 2016-17 Evo-Stik Northern Premier League campign.
The Royals announced the return of their popular former centre-half over the weekend after he cut his teeth in management at Tividale last season before standing down last week following their relegation from Evo-Stik NPL First Division South.
The 36-year-old hung up his playing boots at the end of the 2014-15 campaign at Sutton Coldfield Town before taking over at Tividale last season as joint boss alongside Ross Thorpe before going it alone.
In a statement announcing his return, Tooth said he was looking forward to seeing Male working alongside Carlos De-Azevedo as his second assistant manager.
Tooth said: “With Trevor [Burroughs] moving on I decided I wanted two assistant-managers so Carlos will move up from first-team coach and be joined by Spiller as joint assistant-manager. Carlos will also be heading up our new academy side so its very exciting times ahead.
“Phil wanted the assistants job last season but I felt at the time that he needed to go out and get some experience and to be fair to him he has done that. The beauty about Spiller is that he wants to learn and he knows how Carlos and I work having worked with us previously as a player. He is also someone I trust and that is a massive thing for me.”
Male also looks to be in pole position to be the next Royals boss after Tooth revealed he that will be considering his own future after the end of next season. “I’m also looking to the future and this may well be my last year in management as I’ve had a good run and who better to hand the reigns over too than a club legend who loves the club and wants to progress,” added Tooth.
“I’m aware that as a management team we didn’t work as well as we should have last season and I take full responsibility for that so this season we will be going back to what we did previously and not moving away from our principles.
“There will also be a number of changes in playing personnel but after speaking to the majority of last season’s squad I’m happy that most have agreed to stay on next season.”
Male said: “I’m extremely happy to be returning to Sutton. I had a year away with Tividale where I learnt a lot and I`d like to thank them for the opportunity, but Sutton is where my heart is and I can`t wait to get started with Neil and Carlos.
“Hopefully we can continue with the good work and progress the club has made over the last few seasons and I see no reason why we cant push on and improve on last seasons fantastic league finish.”