NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: New St Neots Town manager relishing the challenge - and wants their players to do the same

New St Neots Town manager Marc Abbott (right) with the man he succeeds, Matt Clements (left).

New St Neots Town manager Marc Abbott (right) with the man he succeeds, Matt Clements (left). - Credit: Archant

New manager Marc Abbott has urged the St Neots Town players to seize the opportunity to shine in the Southern League Premier Division Central.

The former Haverhill Rovers player-boss has arrived this week to succeed Matt Clements in the hotseat.

Clements now moves into a new role as director of football but will work alongside Abbott when Saints travel to Tamworth tomorrow, 3pm.

And while the future is uncertain with the club expected to apply for voluntary relegation to Step 5 football at the end of the current season, Abbott insists his focus is on performances on the pitch.

He said: “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to manage such a massive club.

“It was great to meet the players at training last night and deliver parts of the session.

“The lads were in really good spirits after performing so well at Biggleswade on Tuesday and they are clearly relishing the chance to test themselves at Step 3.

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“The experience they will gain for the rest of this season will only help them in their football journeys.

“Matt has done a great job to keep a squad together of such good quality is a reflection of the type of person he is.

“He will continue to work with me and we have some great staff at the club.

“We spoke to the players before and after training last night – and the message to them is clear.

“We want them to take their opportunities, look to be as competitive as possible and pick up points wherever we can.

“I feel sure they have the same aspiration as us . . . that is to put in some hard work and do the best they possibly can for the club.”

Saints are currently sitting in the Premier Division Central relegation zone and Abbott inherits a squad severely weakened by six notable departures in the past week since an immediate cut to the Saints playing budget was imposed.

Tom Wood has made the short switch across Huntingdonshire to join Saints’ local rivals St Ives Town while star defender Taylor Parr and captain Luke Knight have both moved to another Premier Division Central club, Royston.

Full-back Johnny Herd and striker James Hall and have signed for Division One Central sides.

Herd has been snapped up by table-toppers Peterborough Sports while Hall has joined play-off hopefuls Bedford Town.

Russell Short is the other senior player to have left St Neots in recent days.