After keeping Grantham Town in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division, Paul Rawden and Russ Cousins will lead the club into the 2019/20 season.

Rawden indicated that he wanted to stay and to kickstart the Gingerbreads with a much more positive season in his last post-match interview following the closure of the league season at Stalybridge Celtic.

Speaking on Saturday, he said: “We were delighted to reach the goal of staying up, but the way it happened wasn’t how we wanted. Coming in mid-February gave us no chance to build what we wanted, we had to beg, steal and borrow players who were available.

“We were hit with a barrage of injuries once the registration window closed, to a few key players and losing Callum Coyle was a huge blow. Despite all of that the club stayed up and that was the first of what we hope are positive steps for the club.

“When Nigel asked us to continue it was an easy yes. We are both local to the club and want to continue what we have started. We’ve been backed home and away by a very loyal and vocal group of supporters.

“They’ve understood the job we had ahead of us, they got behind us all the way. The second half at Stalybridge was brilliant, having that support makes things easier to sell the club to prospective players.

“We need at least 6 or 7 players added to the squad to make us a lot more competitive. We didn’t score enough goals, that’s the first area to improve for us. We’ll be talking to the current squad as soon as possible and in that regard, some conversations have already been had. We’ve already made offers to some new players. We will keep these close to our chest until they sign. We will be offering a few contracts so thank you to the Chairman and Board of Directors for backing us on this.

“We’re due to start pre-season in the 1st week of July. We’re working on a list of friendlies. We’ll be looking for some prestige ones and ones where they’re competitive enough for us to see what a player can give us, I also think its important to play sides lower down the pyramid as we want to give something back to the local sides.

“In addition, we hope we can have an open training session and a Q&A with the supporters during pre-season.”

Chairman Nigel Wedgwood added: “The rebuilding plan has already begun, with emphasis on forming a strong exciting and consistent new side. We will release season ticket prices next week and planned friendlies over the coming weeks when they are agreed. As Paul says, we’ll announce any signings when it’s possible.

“As we go into our 145th year and the new season, it’s as important as ever to get behind us. We’ll be having a busy summer behind the scenes, if you think you can help in any small way. Please get in touch.”

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