Former St Neots Town manager Dennis Greene expecting it tough at Histon
DENNIS Greene says he can’t rule out ‘eyeing’ up St Neots Town players after being named the new manager of Histon.
Greene, who quit the Saints at the end of June but regretted his decision immediately, was asked to take training at the cash-strapped Blue Square Bet North side after their former manager David Livermore took up the offer of a job on the coaching staff at League One side Millwall.
Originally, Livemore’s assistant Brian Page was expected to get the job, and in fact, the club indicated a deal was ready to be signed. However, on Thursday, Greene was called into the chairman’s office – and the job was his. “I’m really pleased to be back in the game so quickly,” said Greene. “The location is great because I live in St Neots and it’s a good opportunity because Histon play in a higher league.
“I shall give it a good go.”
Histon have been on a slump of late with financial problems and points deductions behind a decline in fortunes following the dramatic rise that took the club to the pinnacle of the non-league game.
Under the chairman Gareth Baldwin and manager Steve Fallon, Histon rose from the Eastern Counties League in 1997 to the top five of the Blue Square Bet Premier in 2009 where the Stutes only just missed out on promotion to the Football League when they were beaten in the Conference play-offs by Torquay United that year.
Last season, however, the club was starting again in the Blue Square Bet North division under new chairman Russell Hands following their relegation from the top flight. In May they narrowly avoided relegation again, this time into the Premier Division of the Southern League, the level at which St Neots will be playing at least for the next nine months.
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“When David Livermore resigned as manager we were united in our desire that Brian Page be installed as his replacement,” read a statement on the club’s official website. “There were of course discussions between ourselves and Brian and we believed we had an agreement in principle, albeit subject to contract, but neither party anticipated further problems. The appointment was therefore publicly announced.
“However, although Brian was aware that the confirmation of his player and staff budgets was dependent upon our securing new sponsorship funds, discussions with parties interested in bringing financial support into the club have and are taking longer than we had hoped.
“This in turn meant we were unable to make the financial commitments that Brian needed and wanted and therefore he stepped down as first team manager.”
Enter Greene. “Judging by that performance, we need some quality and we need some players,” said the new man after his first pre-season friendly at Royston Town on Saturday ended in a 2-1 defeat.
Greene says he was sad to leave Rowley Park but remains a fan, especially of some of the club’s players. “I have had some great message from St Neots’ people,” he told The Hunts Post. “There have been some great tweets, but I can’t rule out eyeing up a few players.
“The aim this year is to stay up. I don’t want to have to hold the newspaper upside down to see us doing well.”
Greene’s former assistant at St Neots, Tony Scully, has also been given a role at Histon – and the new manager has acted quickly to arrange two ‘glamour’ friendlies – one against former The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright’s Essex United team, the other against a Sunderland XI.
“I am expecting a lot of white stilettos at the ‘Essex’ game,” said Greene. Presumably, he wasn’t talking about playing attire.