Cammell Laird 1907 have this week appointed Neil Prince as First Team manager ahead of a key season for them in the Hallmark Security League Premier Division.
Following a lengthy recruitment period, the former Bootle, Prescot Cables and AFC Darwen No1 has been brought in as Manager and is joined by his regular coaching staff, Neil Black and John O’Toole. Neil has been out of management since the turn of the year when he and AFC Darwen went separate ways but has not wasted the time.
Lairds have released a brief statement via Club Secretary, Toddy Wood “We are delighted to have Neil on board for the new season and I would also like to thank all those who took the time to apply.”
With the season only six weeks away Neil says he is delighted to be back managing in the league once again.
“I was never too far away from things, we were disappointed that the AFC Darwen situation did not work out, certain aspects were difficult, we were given a brief to refresh the squad and we did so, however, the type of player we brought in didn’t quite hit the spot with the club. I have contacts at a number of local clubs such as Clitheroe and we brought in a good percentage of local lads.
The distance thing was never an issue for us and the situation at Darwen just wasn’t working for either party so we ultimately went our separate ways and I wished them the best of luck when I left and I was delighted that they stayed up.
The Lairds appointment was all done through an application process, the job came up, I applied and I was successful, it was as straight forward as that really. It is a great position and not one that comes up too often. I had been out of the game for a few months and the age old question is did I miss it? Well, I’ve recently joined a superb golf club, so whilst I was always confident that I would get back into the game, I made the best of my downtime but I was never too far away from the game and I had been keeping an eye on what was going on.
The Club obviously had a strong set of applicants and I’m delighted and grateful to have been selected and been given the post, this is where the hard work starts. I had applied for other positions that had come up but not got them, whether that’s because I’m a younger manager or not, I’m not sure but that is not for me to judge.
I have spoken in-depth with the club and we know what we need to do, ultimately the first aim is to stay in the Premier Division and then push on up from there when a certain points tally has been achieved. Myself and our coaching staff have high aims, of course we do, we are not going to aim for survival and just be happy about that?
We want to build up the squad and make something special happen and we are already putting a plan in place to do this. We are looking to retain the majority of last seasons squad, there is a great bunch of lads here and we want to compliment that with some additions. A few of the lads have moved on, that’s their prerogative but we are discussing with the squad what we want to do and get them to buy in to this.
We, like many clubs do not have much of a playing budget to speak of, but myself Blacky’ and Tooley’ have some ides in mind of players we want to bring to Kirklands to strengthen what we have and with that in mind we are working on our pre-season accordingly.
I have been working on some pre-season games and between us we have an idea of what we are looking for, we have some irons in the fire already and have just secured a friendly with Witton Albion so that will be a great test for us. Tests come in many shapes and forms though and we currently have four slots available for pre-season games, I am looking for some opposition around Steps 3-7.
We are after some specific types of opposition as we want to hit the ground running, like every club I guess but for us who will be a team with new facets and qualities we want to get everything gelled together for the start of the season on 6th August.
We as a coaching staff are delighted to be involved in such a great club, we have been made to feel very welcome. This was always a club that made everyone feel welcome until the whistle blew on the park and then it was a cauldron to play in and that’s what we want to do here, get a strong run of form at home and travel well.
I have a great platform to build on, Paul McNally and Tony Sullivan deserve great credit for that and now it is time to get the momentum going again and let’s see what we can do, anything is possible.”