Ricky Marheineke says the appointment of a 24-year-old assistant manager at St Ives Town is not a gamble.
The new manager at the ProEdge Westwood Road Stadium has been joined by the former Histon youth coach Jack Cassidy and Marheineke said: “For someone so young his knowledge of the game is far beyond his years. His technical knowledge is on another level.”
Cassidy has been a coach at Cogenhoe United and Wellingborough Whitworth and was involved with the Northamptonshire FA under-18s set-up before joining Histon where he worked with the youth players. Pretty soon after Marheineke moved to Histon as assistant manager to Brian Page, the former Huntingdon manager realised Cassidy’s potential.
“He is young but he is unbelievable,” the St Ives manager said. “I can’t see any other outcome in the future than Jack being at a professional club. He is that good.
“I don’t think it’s a risk or a gamble. I was only 29 when I took the job at Huntingdon so I am as aware as anyone that people need to be given a break.
“If you are good enough at 15 as a footballer to get your debut – why can’t you be a good enough manager at 24 to be given your chance?”
Cassidy, who is already a Uefa B license coach, is based in Bedfordshire and is looking forward to the opportunity of working with older players.
“I believe in my ability as a coach,” he said. “At Histon I got a lot of opportunities under Brian Page and now I am looking forward to working with the players at St Ives.
“I realised I wasn’t a player myself but found a passion for coaching when I was in sixth form at school and I have been working hard at that ever since.
“I get on very well with Ricky and was attracted to St Ives because of how well the club is run. I want to broaden my horizons and work with older players.”
Marheineke has also been joined at St Ives by Paul Swannell, who was his coach at Huntingdon. Swannell was still at the Jubilee Park club at the end of this season but Marheineke has persuaded the former Town manager to join him at St Ives.
“The first thing I did when I got the Huntingdon job was ask Paul Swannell to come back,” said Marheineke.
“In football you always need people around you that are trustworthy and dedicated and sometimes you can’t buy that. I would trust Paul with my life.”
It was a big decision for Swannell, to leave Huntingdon, but the former Maidenhead United coach told The Hunts Post he was looking forward to a fresh challenge.
“It is a fresh opportunity and Ricky and I work well together,” he said. “But I wish everyone well at Huntingdon. I have been part of building the club there and without the chairman Paul Hunt it wouldn’t be where it is now. So I have to thank him for that. Just like I want to thank Seb Hayes for the last season. It was a brilliant season.
“But this is a chance for me to coach at a higher level again.”
Swannell will not be followed by those key Huntingdon players that Marheineke was targeting, However But that’s not a problem, he said, and the manager is already talking to players from elsewhere.
“Credit to Huntingdon,” said Marheineke. “They have pulled out all the stops to keep those players and to keep the squad that came second in the United Counties League last season together.
“They have acted quickly. I wish them all the best.”