NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Dan is the new man for Huntingdon as Town hand managerial post to rookie Woodhead

New Huntingdon Town manager Daniel Woodhead. Picture: EYNESBURY ROVERS FC

New Huntingdon Town manager Daniel Woodhead. Picture: EYNESBURY ROVERS FC - Credit: Archant

Chairman Doug McIlwain insists Huntingdon Town are delighted to give another young manager the chance to shine.

Huntingdon Town chairman Doug McIlwain.

Huntingdon Town chairman Doug McIlwain. - Credit: Archant

The United Counties League Division One side appointed Dan Woodhead as their new boss earlier today – less than a week after the departure of previous chief Jimmy Brattan.

Thirty year-old Woodhead’s only previous managerial experience is a brief spell in charge of Eynesbury Rovers’ reserve side last season. He had a short stint as a Huntingdon player the previous campaign which was curtailed by injury.

McIlwain said: “The board has sought the advice of several people involved in football locally since Jimmy resigned.

“Daniel’s name was one which kept coming up so we approached him and we’re delighted to have him on board.

“Huntingdon Town is a club which likes to give young managers an opportunity. You have to remember that Ricky Marheineke had his first job here and the rest is history.

“I asked Daniel three questions when we met . . . Can you build a team? Can you bring in an assistant manager? And are you in it for the long haul.

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“His answer to every question was ‘yes’. Of course he wants to progress in the game, but he sees Huntingdon Town as more than just a stepping stone.

“It has been a difficult few days with a lot of rumour, conjecture and accusation, but it is now time to settle down and focus on 2018/19.

“We know where we’re playing, we know who is in charge, and we will meet next week to discuss targets once Daniel is back from holiday.”

McIlwain has reiterated that he never wanted to see previous boss Brattan, who guided the club to 12th place and the Hinchingbrooke Cup final last season, to leave Jubilee Park.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t give him the playing budget he wanted, but we did not want Jimmy to leave,” continued McIlwain.

“We held out an olive branch to him, but we feel we have now made the right appointment. We wish Jimmy all the luck in the world for the future.”

Brattan confirmed to the Hunts Post he was in dialogue with McIlwain as recently as yesterday over a possible return, but that chapter has now closed with Woodhead taking over in the Town hotseat.

McIlwain revealed that former Huntingdon manager Bob Warby could return to the club in a director of football role. The two men have held talks in recent days.

Huntingdon will also operate a new reserve team next season. The side will be managed by Tom Beech and play in Division Three of the Peterborough & District League.