NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALLL: New era with a new manager as St Neots Town form a United alliance

St Neots Town director Iain Parr. Picture: DAVID R. W. RICHARDSON/RICH IN VIDEO 2019

St Neots Town director Iain Parr. Picture: DAVID R. W. RICHARDSON/RICH IN VIDEO 2019 - Credit: Archant

Director Iain Parr insists a bright future lies ahead for St Neots Town after forming an alliance with League Two club Cambridge United.

New St Neots Town manager Barry Corr. Picture: SIMON LANKESTER

New St Neots Town manager Barry Corr. Picture: SIMON LANKESTER - Credit: Archant

The 'strategic collaboration' between the clubs has led to the appointment of Barry Corr as the new boss of Southern League Division One Central side Saints.

Corr, 34, will combine his first managerial role with his current job as development coach at United - a club where he also had a successful spell as a player.

Second-bottom Saints will also receive four young players on loan from Cambridge immediately but Parr stresses the club will very much retain its own identity.

"We've had a really good relationship with Cambridge United over the years," said Parr.

"We already have some of their academy sides training at our facility and Cambridge United Women are also based here, so this link at senior level is almost a natural progression.

"They approached us out of the blue to discuss the possibility of working together so we looked at a few ideas. One of those was a member of their coaching staff coming in to work with us which is what led to Barry becoming manager.

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"We feel it is something that can work really well for us. The club here is in a strong position with improved links to the community and we're financially healthy.

"This partnership will only add strength, depth and consistency to our squad while Cambridge's young players can continue to work under a coach with whom they are already familiar.

"But first and foremost Barry's job is to win football matches as manager of St Neots Town. This is our club with our own identity and that definitely won't change.

"The fans have seen an upturn from the current group of players over recent weeks and that squad is only going to get stronger.

"I've sensed a feelgood factor around the place and when bumping into people in the street as I do every day.

"We were determined not to make a knee-jerk appointment and to take our time in getting in the right man.

"We spoke to very good candidates who had expressed an interest in managing the club in the past and a couple of other interesting people also came up.

"But the opportunity to link with Cambridge United is something that will keep the club strong and stable for years to come."

Corr, who holds the UEFA 'A' Licence, will take charge of Saints for the first time this Saturday when they host Bedworth at the Premier Plus Stadium, 3pm.

Assistant boss Sean Greygoose, coach Matty Joseph and goalkeeping coach Gary Dean are all staying on to work under Corr.

Cambridge United's head of football Ben Strang will also oversee the link between the clubs.

It replicates one that their fellow League Two side Colchester United have with another Step 4 club, Maldon & Tiptree.

Strang said: "We think there is significant value to both clubs in working together.

"This link provides a further developmental pathway for our young players and exposes them to a senior football environment with direction from Cambridge United."