ONCE A TIGER: Former player Danny Hussey has taken over at Holbeach United in what is his maiden management role. Photo by JAKE WHITELEY

Former favourite Hussey unveiled as new manager of Holbeach United

Danny Hussey is looking forward to his first role as a manager after being announced as the new number one of Holbeach United.

The former Spalding United and Stamford assistant boss accepted an offer to replace Seb Hayes as Tigers chief on Tuesday and was unveiled at Carter’s Park on Wednesday night.

Hussey, a leading defender for many years on the local football scene in his playing days, actually began his first team playing career with the Tigers as a 16-year-old.

Now 43, he’s excited to get to grips with management and wants to earn the respect of the players ahead of his first game in charge at home to Wellingborough Town on Saturday (3pm).

But he’s adamant that he’d already decided to leave his role with Stamford before being invited to apply for the role at Holbeach.

“It all happened very quickly,” admitted Hussey. “Obviously I’ve been with Stamford for quite a while as number two.

“It was very convenient role for me, as I live about a mile away from the ground and Stamford – of the local sides – have the best facilities and have played at the best level.

“I was taking two training sessions a week and my personal workload was increasing a bit, so I decided to leave that role at the start of the year.

“As fate would have it, I was contacted by Holbeach on New Year’s Eve after Seb had handed in his notice and asked if I’d be interested in applying.

“I thought long and hard about it, as the timing was completely coincidental, and I didn’t really think I’d be doing anything football related after Stamford.

“The offer was a curveball and I decided it was best to see what would be expected of me at Holbeach, a club close to my heart.

“When they told me they could be flexible around my work commitments, I knew I had a decision to make as being a number one was something that had been on my mind for a while.

“I’d been a number two under Pat Rayment at Spalding, worked with Marcus Ebdon (also at Spalding) and also a number two with Graham Drury at Stamford.

“I know that role inside out, but I’m excited to learn what it’s like to be a number one.

“I think Holbeach is a club that I have a degree of respect at given that I made my first-team debut here at age 16 and it’s nice that my first game as a first-team manager will be at Carter’s Park too.

“I don’t know all of the players, but we’ve now got to take the time to get to know each other and earn each other’s respect, which I’m looking forward to.”

Hussey was also quick to pay tribute to former Tigers boss Hayes, who he credits with improving the club massively during his two years in the role.

The new boss isn’t looking to make sweeping changes, insisting that he has inherited a talented bunch that are in an attractive position.

He’s hoping for a positive end to the season and feels that reaching a cup final and finishing in the top five is a realistic goal.

“We’re in a strong position,” added Hussey. “The squad is strong, we’re in two semi-finals and fifth in the league – you don’t often inherit that kind of job.

“It was attractive to me, but also an attractive prospect to any potential new players if I feel the need to bring them in.

“Some teams have nothing to play for at this stage of the season. For us, reaching a final and finishing as high as we can leaves plenty to play for.

“I think the top two are out of reach, but we can certainly aim for third place.

“I’m not setting any targets or laying out any plans. We’ve got a good few months until the end of the season and we’ll see if the club are happy with me in the summer and if I’m happy with how things are.

“Maybe I’ll start putting my stamp on things in the summer, or maybe I’ll only need to make a few adjustments.

“Seb did a fantastic job here and the pathway from the under-18s and Reserves to the first team is as good as it has ever been.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to speaks very highly of him and it may well be that I don’t need to change an awful lot.

“Having Tim Cole, Adam Jackson, Dean Elston and Phil Barnes around means that there are people in place that I know, can work with and trust, which is important.

“The club knows that I want to bring in one more person to help out football-wise, which I’ll look to do in due course.

“I’m looking forward to introducing myself to the lads on Saturday and spending some time with them. I’ll be in charge of the team, but also looking to build relationships with the players and working on creating some mutual respect.”

Hussey added that the roles of Cole and Jackson will remain the same at Carter’s Park, with the pair steering Holbeach to a 2-0 victory at Harborough Town last weekend in their only game as caretaker bosses.

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