NEW coach Ross Thorpe says he is relishing the challenge of helping Stratford Town continue to rewrite history.
Former Alvechurch and Tividale manager Thorpe, who has also been coach at Sutton and Coleshill, has teamed up as fellow assistant boss with Paul Eden to work with manager Carl Adams and made his bow in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at St Neots Town.
The result, courtesy of Jamie Spencer’s late equaliser, took Town to 49 points in the Southern League Premier Division and Town head to Hayes & Yeading United tomorrow (Friday) knowing a point would equal last season’s tally in their debut season at Step Three.
However, 35-year-old Thorpe, who was part of the backroom staff at Birmingham City Ladies, says Town aim to keep building, step by step, to establish themselves at Premier level.
“For me, it’s all about year-on-year progress and that’s how the whole club views building for the future,” said Thorpe. “I’m pleased to have a role in helping them do that.
“It’s a case of improving from season to season. That’s what the gaffer has done since he has come to Stratford. He has had two promotions in three seasons and now two seasons building a solid Step Three club.
“The challenge in the next few weeks is to finish as high as we can with the most points we can. That’s another sign of progress.”
Thorpe stressed Stratford’s team ethos was important in accepting the offer to join Adams as a replacement for Liam O’Neill, who left Town for a full-time role at Nuneaton Town.
“My first involvement was at St Neots and you could see there’s a good, solid group and a togetherness in the dressing room that’s quite tight,” he said. “It’s a good club and the players want to kick on.”
Thorpe will have a role coaching players, preparing the players on match-days and looking at possible recruits for next season.
The first target is the match against relegation-battling Hayes & Yeading at Beaconsfield SYCOB. Hayes lie fourth from bottom, one point behind Kings Langley, but they will be buoyed by a 5-0 thrashing of Cinderford Town in midweek.
Stratford are four games unbeaten but they want to raise their game after Adams felt they lacked a spark at St Neots.
“I thought it was a poor game that never got going, but we’ll take the positive that four weeks ago we would have lost and from our last three games, including two away, we have taken seven points,” said the manager.
“We go again against Hayes & Yeading who are fighting for their lives down at the foot of the table, so I expect a bit more of a battle. We will have to be ready for that.”